Monday, June 06, 2016

Great Moments In Movie Shelves #69

"There's a saying:
'Is a boiled pig afraid of boiling water?'"

That's the wisdom that Yeong-mi (played by the great Doona Bae, whom you probably recognize from her role on Sense8 most recently) imparts to her deaf-mute boyfriend Ryu (played by the similarly terrific Shin Ha-kyun) in this pivotal early scene from Park Chan-wook's 2002 already-classic Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance. When she isn't chasing him around like a Benny Hill skit, that is.

Ryu's just lost a kidney (not to mention all of their savings) in the quest to gain a kidney for his dying sister, and now, well, their pig is cooked. So sitting there in front of their beautiful wall of bookshelves, she cooks up their own plot. Which, given the news that this is a third of Park Chan-wook's "Vengeance Trilogy," naturally doesn't turn out too well for anybody.

Anyway if there's one thing Park Chan-wook excels at (and there are dozens) it's spatial geography - he maps out these crazy kid's apartment, room to room, with infinitesimal accuracy. After watching the movie I'd have no trouble walking in and knowing my way around. And that specificity makes clear this place is not big, and those are a LOT of books for such a small space.

The film makes a long-running joke out of Yeong-mi's political activism but I think these books make the gag's punchline, which only comes in the final scene, clear - we should've been taking her more seriously the whole time. She had her shit backed up.

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