Monday, June 5, 2017

Lady Vengeance, When the Deranged get Even

Can we get our sympathies behind a deranged psycho? If she is really good looking we can.  From South Korea 2005's "Lady Vengeance" is our dish today, and it will be served chilled. Operatic in its delivery, this revenge flick is a beautiful tale about a whole bunch of sordid and ugly people and events.  For those of us quick to stereotype and generalize, "Lady Vengeance" is a bloody reminder that the vicious and deranged among us aren't always the bad guys.
The beautiful Geum-ja (Yeong-ae Lee) has just served a 13 year sentence for the brutal kidnapping and murder of a little boy. Released for good behavior, Geum-ja may have put one over on the parole system. Sure, she cheerfully took care of the Alzheimer's patients in the pen. Sure, she gave wonderful Christian testimonials about faith and prayer to other inmates. Oh yes, she lovingly fed the sick in the prison hospital. Now 32, and still quite stunning, Geum-ja is free to enact a complicated plan for revenge. See, Geum-ja didn't really murder the boy, but took the wrap because of a blackmail scheme that saw her own daughter kidnapped. The culprit? A school teacher, Mr. Baek (Min-sik Choi). 13 years of planning created a plot that goes further than kidnapping Baek and torturing him until he dies.  What could be a worse fate than that?
Here is the complicated part of the plan...actually no. No spoilers here, but it becomes apparent that vengeance and revenge are not Guem-ja's only motives. An interesting plot twist in this film has Guem-ja finding her daughter after having to give her up 13 years previous. As she travels to Australia to visit the adoptive parents she is able to bond with her offspring, and we do get indications that little Jenny (Yea-young Kwon) is just as deranged as her birth-mother. The introduction of Jenny into the plot provides quite a conflict for us as we now know Geum-ja isn't the devil we thought she was...or is she?  As for Baek?  Just wait, he'll get it real good.
What fate awaits Baek at the hands of Lady Vengeance?  If not revenge, what else motivates our anti-heroine? Don't jump to conclusions as this film isn't really about revenge. Bloody, vicious, and unrelenting, "Lady Vengeance"  is a thought provoking horror flick.  As beautiful as she is, Geum-ja is terrifying in every frame of film she is in.  For an unsettling good time, from South Korea, take a peek at "Lady Vengeance."

1 comment:

  1. This is like a fantasy film in a way because at one time or another, we have all wished to exact revenge upon those that have wronged us. This is just a tad more brutal. Actually sounds quite intriguing. Good review as usual, Christopher!