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'Lady Vengeance' Director Looks for Atonement

2005/07/19 | Permalink | Source

By Kim Tae-jong
Staff Reporter

Director Park Chan-wook has been acclaimed for his previous films about revenge, but he says he believes revenge is meaningless and his coming film, the last in his revenge trilogy, takes a new look at the concept.

"This film is not only the last installment of my trilogy on revenge, it is also the conclusion of all three films", said Park Chan-wook Monday during a news conference in CGV theaters in Yongsan, Seoul after a preview screening of "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (Chinjolhan Kumjassi)".

"I wanted to transcend the inaccurate concept of revenge in which people throw the entire blame on others and think `if I kill them, I can solve the problem'. This film is more about the atonement for sins and the salvation of the soul", Park said.

Starring Lee Young-ae, the film revolves around Kum-ja who is falsely charged with the murder of a kidnapped boy and is put behind bars for 13 years. After serving the sentence, she sets about getting revenge on the man who caused her misery.

However, Park said that unlike his previous works, the new film shows the main character admits to her own sins and looks for a way to be redeemed.

With "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance", Park has completed his trilogy on revenge after the 2002 film "Poksunun Naui Kot (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance)" and the 2003 "Old Boy", which garnered Park the grand jury prize at the 57th Cannes Film Festival.

To link all three films, Park said he intentionally had main the characters from the previous films show up in "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance".

The film also stars Choi Min-sik from "Old Boy" as an evil character. And Song Kang-ho and Shin Ha-kyun from "Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance" and Yoo Ji-tae and Kang Hye-jung from "Old Boy" make cameo appearances in the last part of the trilogy.

But Park said the biggest difference between this film and the previous two films is definitely that the main character who attempts to take revenge is a woman and she doesn't do a good job of it.

"When people think of a woman taking revenge in a movie, they tend to expect to see strong actresses like Sigourney Weaver. But I needed a character who has two opposing different personalities, and that's perfect for Lee", Park said jokingly.

In the film, Lee plays a character who shows a very kind and soft image and at the same time is cold-hearted with a strong desire for revenge.

As Lee previously played typical feminine characters, such as Jang-gum from the historical television drama "Jewel in the Palace (Dae Jang Geum)", which is now airing in many Asian countries and is hugely popular, she first found the role in the upcoming film very challenging, but she soon wanted to star in the film as she believed it was time in her career to take on a different character as an actress.

"Those who like my characters in other films and TV dramas might be disappointed by my role in this film, but I really wanted to get out of my stereotyped image and I tried to do my best to show my different sides", Lee said.

"Sympathy for Lady Vengeance" opens at local theaters on July 29.

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