“Park forces us to consider a world where good intentions go awry, decent people do bad things, and fate deals cruel cards. But even at its darkest moments, SYMPATHY finds surprising and heartbreaking shreds of humanity.” - KPBS.org
“It’s an odd testament to his spiritedness that, despite the coldblooded killing and trail of the dead, MR. VENGEANCE feels warmly suffused with life.” - Boston Globe
On the heels of his rich, poignant thriller JOINT SECURITY AREA, director Chan Wook Park delivered a mighty whallop of genre cinema, paving the way for an amazing era of distinct and unforgettable Korean crime movies.
SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE also played a significant role in the origin of Fantastic Fest. Karrie and I saw the film in 2001 while on vacation at the Sitges Film Festival. At the time I didn’t know Chan Wook Park and was utterly shattered by this film (in all the right ways). That night, after that screening, our first conversations about bringing something like Sitges to Austin took place. Four years later, Fantastic Fest launched, but the desire to share staggeringly brilliant international genre films with US audiences began with SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE. I also added it to my Alamo 100 list of films I want to have if I’m stranded on a desert island (that strangely has a DVD player, TV and AC power). - Tim League
About the film
Unable to afford proper care for his sister dying from kidney failure, Ryu turns to the black market to sell his own organs, only to end up cheated of his life savings. His girlfriend urges Ryu to kidnap the daughter of wealthy industrialist Dong-jin, who recently laid him off. Ryu agrees, but unforeseen complications turn an innocent con into a merciless quest for revenge.
SYMPATHY FOR MR VENGEANCE won the Korean Association of Film Critics Awards for best director and screenplay.