If you wish to go to the current Fangoria site, you may click the top logo, "Home" or "News" links. Or click here.
Thanks to the talent of filmmakers Chan-wook Park and
Ji-woon Kim, it’s seemed most recently that South Korea was tops for tales of
morally murky vengeance. This year however, Hong Kong seems poised to leave you
breathless. The country last wowed us with its penchant for brutality in the
standout DREAM HOME just a few months ago and making its U.S. premiere at
Fantastic Fest this week is Ching-po Wong’s devastating REVENGE: A LOVE STORY.
REVENGE: A LOVE STORY is a complicated affair. It shares a
companion-like relationship with the aforementioned Kim’s I SAW THE DEVIL, not
in any story similarities mind you, but in the way both admirably challenge
your sympathies and condoning of the proceedings. As is often the case, the
less known about REVENGE: A LOVE STORY the better, but the film opens with a
pair of truly heinous acts, namely the murders of two pregnant women followed
by the removal of the fetuses inside them. It’s something irredeemable, until
the remaining chapters (the film is structured in specific chunks, titled with
heavy reference to the relationship between God and Satan) spell out what led
us to this place.
The meat of the story concerns the fairly slow Kit (an
excellent Juno Mak, who co-wrote) and his pining love for the beautiful and
also slightly mentally ill Wing Cheung (Sola Aoi). When Wing’s Aunt passes on,
the young girl is moved to a care center and Kit proceeds to jailbreak her for
a romantic evening that sadly turns disastrous through misunderstanding.
Wong does an incredible job with difficult material,
crafting a brutal, unflinching film with style and thoughtfulness throughout
(despite an action beat late in the game that feels a bit much). Its specific
chapter/act breaks bring a fittingly epic, classical tragedy-like feel to the
story, while their respective titles serve to underline parallels drawn between
Kit, his opposition and the left and right hands of god. There’s a particularly
pointed look at the way authority feels the power of the lord and thusly uses
it in a corrupt and disgusting manner.
Like many of its ilk, REVENGE: A LOVE STORY is not a fun
time, but it’s heavy and damn good and absolutely a film worth your attention
when it hopefully nabs U.S. distribution.
JOIN OUR COMMUNITY AND BE THE FIRST TO KNOW ABOUT NEWS, CONTESTS, EVENTS AND MORE!
All contents © 2011 Fangoria Entertainment