Sympathy for Mr Vengeance
Collector's Edition

Starring: Song K, Shin H and Bae D
Tartan Asia Extreme
RRP: 19.99
TVD 3544
Certificate: 18
Available 28 February 2005

A deaf-mute is desperate to save his sister's life, but can't raise the money for the kidney transplant. Out of desperation, he and his terrorist girlfriend kidnap a wealthy businessman's daughter in order to raise the cash, only to find that the cost of their actions will have to be paid in torture and pain. An uncompromising look at the grim reality of black market organ trading, radical terrorist organisations and merciless killers...

Park Chan-Wook's Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance is the precursor to Oldboy and the first of his celebrated Vengeance trilogy. It is a disquieting, brutal but nonetheless rewarding multi-layered tale of love, loss and revenge.

If you are having a bad day or just not in a happy mood then I highly recommend that you leave this film on the shelf. Having said that, it is a very good film and is superbly acted and executed. But sadly it is also one of the most depressing films I have ever seen.

The film starts off very negative and gets progressively worse until the end credits. But don't let that put you off a film that is powerful and exciting all at the same time. At certain points whilst watching this movie I was thinking that nothing else could go wrong for the main character, and then suddenly his life would just get worse.

This film, like Old boy, deals with love and revenge and gives you a nasty taste for both. Fantastic and soul destroying at the same time, I recommend this film. But only if you think you can take it.

The disc itself features a commentary; 'Making of' documentary; short film by the director; and interviews and filmographies. Picture and sound quality are superb and with all this crammed onto a single disc, you can't go wrong.

Recommended, but not for a night in with a loved one. Maybe someone you hate or even your mother in law.

Simon Lee

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