Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance

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Dong-jin (to Ryu): I know you're a good guy... but you know why I have to kill you...


Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance (2002) is the first installment of Park Chan-wook's Vengeance Trilogy and easily the most depressing and most violent of the three films. The plot is a standard Tragedy that makes good use of Irony as the film follows the two protagonists, Ryu and Dong-jin.

Ryu, a deaf-mute aspiring artist, has to leave art school to take care of his ill sister, who badly needs a kidney transplant. Unfortunately he is laid off from his factory job, but he refuses to tell his sister. Out of desperation, he makes a deal with black market organ traffickers to find a kidney for his sister in exchange for one of his own kidneys and 10,000,000 Korean won. The organ dealers swindle him out of his money, leaving him unable to pay for his sister's operation (which cost exactly 10,000,000 Korean won) once her surgeon finally gets a kidney. Ryu and his girlfriend Yeong-mi resort to a kidnapping scheme in order to get the money to save his sister.

As if things weren't already bad enough, the scheme goes awry and the kidnapped girl is accidentally killed. Her father Dong-jin swears revenge on her kidnappers, tracking down Ryu and Yeong-mi. Ryu is in turn tracking down the organ dealers who he believes had set the chain of events in the movie, and he intends to get Revenge as well. Naturally this cannot end well.

Tropes used in Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance include: