Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Sympathy for Lady Vengeance

Valentines day, a time for couples to spend the evening showing their love for each other whilst spending a fortune on the event in overpriced restaurants, or the Aberdeen Steak House for those who hadn't planned anything properly. For one couple on the train it would be a night spent at a Lee Ryan concert; I am sure the boy would have enjoyed that. For another couple getting drunk at the Ritz Hotel was misinterpreted by the woman as getting paraletic outside it, and her much older partner was doing his best carrying her to a taxi. For the man on the tube holding a £1 rose sobbing it clearly wasn't a good night. Well tonight I had my date in Soho, London's Red Light District, spending £10 for 2 hours enjoyment.

No, I wasn't buying a prostitute. I had gone to see the new film from Oldboy director Chan-wook Park in the company of one Lady Vengeance, the eponymous heroine of his new film. Oldboy had been a sleeper hit of last year and a film I found quite eye-opening and difficult to watch. This new film was getting very good reviews, so I thought why not!

Yeong-ae Lee plays Geum-ja Lee, a woman recently released from prison for the kidnap and subsequent murder of a young boy. Revealing that she was blackmailed into taking the fall, she sets about getting the revenge on the man who took a significant part of her life from her.

The film is a superb story, those of you that have seen Oldboy will be pleased to hear that the plot this time is a lot more straightforward, and although it takes a swerve towards the end, it's not a huge head-scratching twist.

Cinematography is again, top notch and there are some superb scenes; a stand out being an emotional heart-to-heart between the leading lady and her daughter through an interpreter. As with Oldboy there are some powerful scenes that wouldn't be in any film coming out of America. There isn't any live octopus eating this time but a puppy does get it and some of the video footage in the final act is pretty distressing (I'm trying my damnest not to give anything away here).

Understandably the film isn't getting a mainstream cinema release, which means you'll probably end up visiting the arty cinema rather than the local multiplex. This is why I ended up going where I did, honest!

As I made my way home I witnessed a final couple getting into a fight at the station, how romantic. For a day that celebrates being with someone and usually makes single people feel inferior, my night had been very enjoyable!

Oh, and I saw former Bond Girl Maryam D'Abo at the cinema and looking to be on her own, but she wasn't seeing the same film as me. How Valentinish would that have been?
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