31 December 2005 | UberNoodle
Just got the Korean 2 DVD set and watched the B/W version first. All I can say is that, this film is a masterpiece! I was very moved and if you do one more thing in your life before you die, see this film!
Of course, I use the term "masterpiece" in its true sense, as the work which reveals an artist's achievement of "mastery" over his or her craft. Don't be confused with the latter conotation that a masterpiece is a "perfect" work. Could there ever be such a thing? Truly, this film shows the original sense of the word, such that I would be nervous seeing any subsequent films from him.
There are two versions of the film. I checked the colour version, and besides the opening credits being slightly different, and the much talked about retaining of colour throughout, it appears to be exactly the same.
I am sure your are all familiar with the premise, but I think that the less you know, the better. At it's basic level, this film follows in the classic "quest for revenge" schema. A beautiful woman is condemned to 13 and a half years of incarceration for the kidnapping and murder of a young boy. By this theme, the film connects to the previous entries in the now Vengeance "Trilogy", but it is in no way a rerun.
Just like the other two films, (Sympathy for) Lady Vengeance is gorgeous. The design in the film is extraordinary, and there are so many frames that are simply beautiful. The use of colour and light is inspirational in some parts, and I really can't think of watching any version but the "fading" one. Maybe it's because I saw that version first, but I didn't find the colour version as deeply affecting.
I think that which is better will be a personal decision for all who see this film. There are a some points where the fading version is very effective with what becomes subdued spots of colour. Yet, the characters in the film are also colourful, and fleshed out enough so that the viewer gets to know them, but not enough that they know them completely.
The past is something hidden for these characters, in many ways that is a thematic point of the film. The film is truly about redemption, and as we follow the moving drama within we may even come to understand something within ourselves. It is truly a fitting end to this three film exploration into hate remorse and revenge.