Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002) - Park Chan-wook
I know you’re a good guy… but you know why I have to kill you…
Quick Summary: A deaf guy tries to get a kidney for his sister, but he gets ripped off. Horrible things happen and there is an almost unbearable amount of sadness, offset by awesomely intricate connections and hilarious parts of dark humor. Revenge revenge revenge, a really cute little girl, and more revenge.
It’s been a really long time since I watched a movie that stuck with me and kept me thinking about it for hours and hours after the final credits. I simultaneously hated and loved this movie intensely the entire time it was exhausting how extreme my feelings were the duration of the film.
I hated it. It was so dark and depressing and grim. Everything that could have gone wrong went wrong, there was so much death and suffering, I felt like I was on the edge of tears the entire time and there were multiple instances during which I had to look away from the screen I just couldn’t handle it anymore. Because we decided to watch it at 1am in the morning in the darkness (I don’t know why but that’s what happened. Jenn, Jiho and I literally started a 2hr+ film at 1am in the morning), falling asleep was impossible. Too many of the images just stayed in my mind and I couldn’t get them out I was entranced.
I loved it. I couldn’t get over how well it was filmed. Like, everything from the transitions to the creative shots and points of view blew me away. There was almost no music the entire time, and I didn’t even mind because the scenery and cinematography was enough to evoke that emotion on its own. Not to mention the superb acting. I loved it.
The movie might have made a bit more sense if I spoke Korean. We had to pause a few times to debate the significance of some scenes (and even though there were subtitles, they didn’t have captions for some of the main character’s deaf sign language so we had to guess at that). Even though it was so late at night, none of us had issues following along with the plot or staying awake (definitely no issues with staying awake we were RIVETED for the whole 2 hours).
I got around to watching Like Crazy the other night. It’s a bit of a stretch saying “I got around to it” as if I have all the time in the world and I finally worked up the energy to devote a few hours to watching this film. What really happened is that instead of working on History of Photography and the final project that’s due December 7th, I decided to just give myself a break and watch Like Crazy because it was on Netflix and I’m making the most of Miles’s Netflix subscription before the free trial month runs out! Call me resourceful, because I am.
Anyways. I guess I can say that I enjoyed the film to a certain extent; the realness of it, the grittiness of it, the unabashed stark nature of the relationships portrayed on the screen kind of reminded me of a less sex heavy Blue Valentine! Both of them had endings that made me so annoyed with their ambiguity oh my goodness.
I didn’t like the way the two of them kept using other people to get over their relationship. Poor Jennifer Lawrence. Like, why? She didn’t have as large a role as I thought she would though.
It was just an interesting movie to watch because I had a feeling from the start that the two of them were just too giddy together it wasn’t going to last through her deportation. I loved her wedding dress. I got the HUGEST bit of entertainment watching the scene where they’re at Catalina Island because no joke I have a family photo of everyone sitting on the exact same windowsill that they sit on when she’s about to fly back and she’s ignoring him and trying to read and he’s just trying to talk to her.
I got such a kick out of it that I actually screen captured the scene and sent it to my brothers like “look! This movie has a bit of our family history in it remember that shot of the five of us on that windowsill and Mezu was looking all grumpy like always? Crazy huh? Get it? The movie is called Like Crazy?”
No response obviously : ) But it made me chuckle. That, and the antics of her parents. They were such cool cute parents I enjoyed their screentime immensely.
It’s a funny thing coming home. Nothing changes. Everything looks the same, feels the same, even smells the same. You realize what’s changed is you.
--F. Scott Fitzgerald