Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance is the last part of the Chan-wook Park’s revenge trilogy (Old Boy, Lady Vengeance) which I hadn’t seen yet.
The deaf and mute Ryu (Ha-kyun Shin) has to give up his art study to take care of his sister, who is very ill and needs a kidney transplant in order to survive. He gets a job at a factory and has to work extremely hard to be able to take care of his sister and save money for an operation. Everything seems to go fine, until his boss Dong-Jin Park (Kang-ho Song) fires him. As he wants to help his sister he tries to find a solution through illegal ways, but when these don’t seem to work he decides, together with his girlfriend, to kidnap Dong-Jin Park’s daughter and ask for ransom money. The plans don’t work out as they had in mind.
This film doesn’t have one, but two protagonists looking for revenge and this means (just like in the other two movies of the trilogy) that there are some shocking scenes. Slowly I’m becoming a big fan of Song Kang-Ho, who has shown in various movies that he’s extremely capable to play various different types of character convincingly, which is a joy to watch. His role here as boss and desperate father is no exception.
Ha-kyun Shin, who plays a character that can’t speak and hear, manages to bring this character to life in such a way to you care for him. The frustration of not being able to help his sister immediately forces him to do things he wouldn’t do normally, the frustration and desperation takes control and it’s something a viewer can relate to even though you know that he’s making some bad decisions.
The story itself is very interesting and Chan-wook Park knows how to tell the various parts of the story. Although Oldboy still is my favorite out of the trilogy, this movie earns second place.