Sympathy For Mr Vengeance

Mon 3 January 2005 // 19:00
Tue 4 January 2005 // 19:00
Wed 5 January 2005 // 19:00
Thu 6 January 2005 // 19:00

(Chan-wook Park / Korea (subtitled) / 2002 / 121 mins / cert 18)
(Sat 1st-Thurs 6th / 7pm / £4/3/2ttt)

Whilst 'Oldboy' may be the film that has cemented Chan-wook Park’s international reputation as a filmmaker of some repute, it is his 2003 film 'Sympathy for Mr Vengeance' that critics are hailing as his masterpiece. Tackling similar themes to the later film, 'Sympathy' follows the fortunes of Ryu – a deaf man who gets involved with gangsters to help pay for his sister’s operation but ends up biting off more than he can chew.

The film unfolds as a spiraling chain of events that move the viewer through the cold mechanics of revenge and murder, whilst never shying from a warm, humanist perspective. Park’s skilful balance of violent action and moral substance means that no matter how gruesome events become – and they DO become gruesome – what is shown is rarely explicit. As many have pointed out, it is this generation’s 'Reservoir Dogs'.