Park Chan Wook concludes his revenge trilogy with “Lady Vengeance,” a terrific black comedy about a young woman who spends 13 years in prison for a crime she confessed to but didn’t commit. When she’s released, she has a plan in place for vengeance against the true perpetrator. The remarkable Yeong-ae Lee stars as Geum-ja Lee, who wears blood-red eye shadow so she won’t look so kindhearted.
If the finale of Park’s previous blockbuster “Oldboy” seemed too melodramatic to you, the last half of this one will nail you to your chair. The scene in an abandoned school, in which the evil Mr. Baek (Min-sik Choi) gets all that’s coming to him, becomes nearly unbearable not because you fear what you might be forced to watch, but because you fear what you might do if you were in Geum-ja’s place.
Jeong-hun Jeong’s cinematography is impeccable, as is Park’s direction. The camera is always in the right place with the images framed to maximum effect. Even Hitchcock didn’t do it better.
This Tartan Video release is in Korean with English subtitles, and is highly recommended to fans of dark humor, Asian cinema, melodrama, crime films and art-house fare.