It may be the least of his so-called revenge trilogy but Chan-Wook Park‘s Sympathy For Lady Vengeance is a monster of a film. There are a few shots in this one that number amongst my favourite in all of the great man’s career. I wish we could discuss them here without spoiling the film for people.
The film has been set for an American remake – as with Oldboy, the previous of Park’s pictures, which Spike Lee is doing over right now.
William Monahan, who translated Infernal Affairs into The Departed for Martin Scorsese, is adapting the film – though at the moment, Variety‘s story doesnt make it clear if he’s directing or just writing.
I know some hardline Asian movie nuts who might get a little rankled by Monahan’s involvement. The ones I remember thumping tubs over The Departed. For years.
Also perturbed, I expect, will be most people who ploughed through Monahan’s rather unsatisfying directorial debut, London Boulevard.
Annapurna pictures are now on board to produce and fund this new Lady Vengeance. Charlize Theron is another producer, and will also star in the lead role of a woman convicted for murdering a schoolboy, but now apparently reformed and released.
The plot hinges on the fact that the character was actually innocent all along, and spent her years in jail scheming – and now that she’s free, she can set about exacting her revenge on the true culprit.
In the director’s cut of the original film, the image slowly desaturates from plump and juicy primary colours to a black and white climax. It’s just one of Park’s bold visual strategies employed in the film.
I dare say Monahan will have some of his own. He’s certainly making some other changes, telling Variety:
This will be very American – and very unexpected. Park is a genius; it’s the Everest of adaptations and I’ve got blood in my teeth to do it.
Ferocious. And he’ll need to be.
Theron first revealed a stake in this remake four years ago. It’s encouraging that she’s kept with it all this time.