September 12, 2013 - 16:42 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Hany Abu-Assad has been hired to helm the English-language remake of Park Chan-wook’s Sympathy For Mister Vengeance, according to Deadline.
The Dutch-Palestinian director best known for his Oscar-nominated 2005 pic Paradise Now also recently won the Jury Prize at Cannes for his latest film, Omar. Mister Vengeance follows a man seeking a black market kidney for his sister whose plan unravels in violence and revenge.
The script is written by Broken City scribe Brian Tucker, based on the first film in Park Chan-wook’s Vengeance Trilogy. The film centers on two men who are bound by their common sense of loss and headed on a collision course of revenge. The other installments in that trilogy are Oldboy and Lady Vengeance. A remake of Oldboy will be released in October by FilmDistrict, directed by Spike Lee and starring Samuel L. Jackson, Josh Brolin and Sharlto Copley.
According to a review published at KPBC, “Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance is by far Park’s most mature, controlled and emotionally resonant work. It begins slowly, mixing black humor with ever-increasing tension. The trick Park pulls off is that he makes us care for all the characters. But our sympathies constantly slip and slide as characters that we grow fond of behave in shocking ways. There are no conventional heroes and villains here, just frustratingly complex human beings who seem victims of both fate and their own follies. A recent flurry of South Korean films —Sympathy, Oldboy, Save the Green Planet, A Bittersweet Life, Tae Guk Gi — are fueled by an epic sense of sadness that seems to reflect Korea’s own violent and history as it struggles with old wounds and newfound freedoms. The violence and the storylines of these South Korean films differ from other examples of the Asian extreme genre. In Hong Kong, the cramped, fast-paced cosmopolitan lifestyle produces over-the-top action that has less emotional resonance and more intoxicating, pop arty thrills. In Japan, the violent excesses play out more as a rebellious reaction to that country’s perceived formalism and tradition. But a number of Korean films display a sense of division, of torn emotions and aching sadness that seems in some way influenced by the fact that it is a country divided, with family members sometimes ending up on opposite sides of the border.
With Sympathy, Park once again dazzles us with his cinematic craft. Every scene, every frame reveals meticulous control and design. Take one brilliantly conceived and executed shot. The shot begins in the room next to Ryu’s apartment as four young men masturbate to what they think are the sounds of a woman at the height of sexual pleasure. But as the camera tracks through their apartment into that of Ryu’s, we see Ryu’s sister writhing on the floor in agony and desperately trying to get the attention of her deaf brother who is happily eating dinner with his back to her and oblivious to her pain. In this single shot, Park finds dark humor and sad irony in the jarring way these characters all occupy the same cinematic space.”