Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance ★★★½

This film is nothing like what I was expecting going into the viewing, and I say that with complete admiration.

When I think of revenge viewings, I typically think of style. I think of the story not necessarily being put on the back-burner, but rather the story being used as the springing board for some damn cool style all in the name of acquiring some righteous vengeance. Every now and then as a viewer you'll come across a film that forces you to re-visit your preconceived notions to a particular genre. Thankfully for the viewer, such is very much the case here.

I'm not going to give an overview of the story here because this film is all about the story, and more specifically the characters within said story. The progression of said story in this film is damn cool. For the most part this is a film that is surrounded by tragedy. Looking back on my viewing last night now, it is interesting how the chain of events started with such an innocent and even benevolent mindset.

One of the most important things about this film lies in its pacing. This is a slow-burn film in which the viewer will find a great amount of depth in the details. Not only in the realistic and cold world portrayed, but perhaps most importantly depth in the characters. What a great set of well-rounded characters on display for the viewer to take in here. Each character is developed in such a way that investment and ultimately the ability to relate to each and every one comes natural. As such, the viewing itself is quite interesting as you can't help but feel ambiguity towards a large amount of the characters' decisions and actions.

While I'm not sure if this was the intent but to me this film is almost qualifies as some sort of meditation/musing on the cycle of violence, and how fragile it ultimately is. A brother's love for his sister starts a sequence of events that ultimately lead to the demise of all. While the journey itself is no doubt a rewarding one, it is likewise the kind of journey that lends itself to reflection. Once this film gets going (akin to the first domino dropping), one can't help but sit back and witness the complete and utter destruction.

Superior vengeance cinema.

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