Finally there’s news of an Asian film remake I can get behind, and it’s not just because I’d like to get behind Charlize Theron. The Boston Globe recently ran an interview with the versatile and beautiful actress, and the best piece of news contained within was that Theron will be starring in and producing a remake of the stylish and stunning Korean film, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance. The movie was the denouement of director Chan-Wook Park’s thematic revenge trilogy and is easily one of the best Korean films of the past five years. The trilogy, in theme, only includes the bleak and merciless Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and the brutal and amazing Old Boy. The latter is the best of the three and best known having won the Grand Jury prize at Cannes in 2004.
Lady Vengeance, as it was titled for its US release, follows a woman convicted of the kidnapping and murder of a young child. After serving several years in prison as a model inmate she’s released and immediately puts in motion her long-gestating plan for revenge against the man she holds responsible. The film is at times as brutal as its predecessors, but unlike those two it allows for the twin possibilities of hope and redemption. Dark, bloody, and surprisingly funny, the movie also makes good use of Park’s penchant for (almost Fincher-esque) CGI.
Here’s hoping Theron and company keep the unique feel and look of the film intact. We’ll find out in a couple years when the remake gets released, but until then, be sure to check out the original on import DVD or R1 release from Tartan. Finally, in the interest of full disclosure, I would, in fact, like to spend two days in Miss Theron’s valley.