7.6/10
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Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002)

Boksuneun naui geot (original title)
Trailer
1:25 | Trailer
A recently laid off factory worker kidnaps his former boss' friend's daughter, hoping to use the ransom money to pay for his sister's kidney transplant.

Director:

Chan-wook Park

Writers:

Park Myeong-Chan (comic), Mu-yeong Lee (screenplay) | 4 more credits »
7 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Kang-ho Song ... Dong-jin Park
Ha-kyun Shin ... Ryu
Doona Bae ... Yeong-mi Cha
Ji-Eun Lim Ji-Eun Lim ... Ryu's Sister
Bo-bae Han Bo-bae Han ... Yu-sun
Se-dong Kim Se-dong Kim ... Chief of Staff
Dae-yeon Lee Dae-yeon Lee ... Choe
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Masashi Fujimoto Masashi Fujimoto ... Peng
Ju-bong Gi Ju-bong Gi
Gyu-su Jeong Gyu-su Jeong
Jae-yeong Jeong ... Husband of Dong-jin's ex-wife's
Kan-hie Lee Kan-hie Lee ... Dong-jin Park's ex-wife
Kwang-rok Oh Kwang-rok Oh ... Anarchist
Jae-woong Park Jae-woong Park
Seung-bum Ryoo ... Retarded Boy at River (as Seung-beom Ryu)
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Storyline

In Seoul, Ryu, a deaf worker has a sister who needs a kidney transplant. He tries to donate his own kidney to his sister, but his blood type is not compatible with hers. When Ryu is fired from Ilshin Electronics, he meets illegal dealers of organs, and the criminals propose that he give them his kidney plus ten millions Won to obtain a kidney suitable for his sister. Ryu accepts the trade, but he does not have money to pay for the surgery. His anarchist revolutionary girlfriend Cha Young-mi convinces him to kidnap Yossun, the daughter of his former employer Park, who owns Ilshin Electronics. However, a tragedy happens, generating revenge and a series of acts of violence. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Revenge Was Never This Sweet

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong gruesome violence, strong sexuality, language and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

South Korea

Release Date:

29 March 2002 (South Korea) See more »

Also Known As:

Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance See more »

Filming Locations:

South Korea

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,827, 21 August 2005

Gross USA:

$45,289

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,046,061
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally director Chan-wook Park wanted the colors to fade to black and white as the film progressed. Budget constraints prevented the color desaturation of 'Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance' but Park would revisit the idea of color desaturation with the Region 3 Special Edition release of 'Sympathy for Lady Vengeance', which included a director's cut where the colors fade to black and white during the film's progression. See more »

Goofs

During the scene where engineer Peng slashes his stomach four times, notice his strokes. He makes a semi-short stroke, then two strokes that are similar in length, and then a very long stroke on the bottom. All of these strokes are relatively straight; although, when you see the close-up of his gashes bleeding, you see that the first stroke is very short and angled down, and the bottom stroke is much shorter than the middle two, even though it should obviously be longer. See more »

Quotes

Park Dong-jin: I know you're a good guy... but you know why I have to kill you...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The title card of the film is shown in both Korean and English. See more »

Connections

Followed by Oldboy (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Crafted well enough to carve through the soul.
17 January 2003 | by ETCmodel02See all my reviews

There aren't to many times when credits roll on a film and I want to immediately start watching it through again. This is one of the rare exceptions.

Visually stunning with artistic merit to almost every shot. Deliberate frame composition with the eye of a classical painter married to lighting that underscores the narrative with sublime control. The shots alternate between tight intimate shots with strong angles that elude to POV and deep staged shots in full focus throughout that nearly ride the axis like looking down the barrel of a rifle into the deepest darkest corners of our characters' lives.

The light and textures on screen are lush and rich and the focus generally deep like Seven or Silence of the Lambs. Solid DOP, solid Cinematographer, solid Production Designer, Solid Art Director, across the board this film stands up as tight, smart, unexpected, sometimes abusive and always engaging like a car wreck in all the charmed ways.

Dialogue, though minimal, is always apt and loaded. Sign language feels like Tai Chi, delicate here, fierce there, somehow clear I believe even without subtitles.

This gem is deliciously horrific, a complete study of tragedy and of theater grotesque. Like Scarface the film is laden with stomach clenching non-gratuitous gore which is somehow infinitely more disturbing.

The driving narrative is about vengeance, layer upon layer, constantly underscored by social commentary both direct and sub-textual addressing inequities, rights, justice and the cruelty / fairness of commerce, fate and basic karma.

Well crafted, well delivered, well done. Excellent. And absolutely NOT for people with weak gullets, true that.


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