Screened as part of NZIFF 2006
After the acclaimed Oldboy, Korean director Park Chan-wook delivers the third of his phenomenal revenge trilogy. Lady Vengeance is Geum-ja (Lee Young-ae), an ostensibly delicate young thing who appalled the nation at the age of 19 by confessing to the kidnap and murder of a five-year-old boy. Now in her 30s, she’s been released from prison, where she amassed a startling reputation for saintliness. Between her former self and her current aura of purity, Geum-ja guards a deadly secret, which Chan-wook withholds just as cunningly from the audience, then reveals with relish. Where Oldboy came on with a hiss and a roar, Lady Vengeance takes a more wily approach to its ingenious plot, but its ending, when it comes, is even more extravagantly gruesome than its predecessor. For connoisseurs of aestheticised ultra-violence, the spectacle will be an absolute treat.
“Park’s films generally take his movie culture’s yen for emotional meth and triple the dose… Breathless pop filmmaking, narratively mercurial, viscerally traumatic and thematically infernal.” — Michael Atkinson, Village Voice