Sunday, July 3, 2011

I Saw the Rage

I wasn't expecting much from I Saw the Devil, so I am here to reaffirm the wisdom of allowing a movie to exceed one's expectations: I Saw the Devil (IStD) is an excellent film. [Spoilers below]

By that I mean IStD takes the familiar tropes and themes of a "revenge story" but plays them through unflinchingly, as vividly distinguished from, say, the last and next few mailed-in Mel Gibson revenge-y blockbusters. IStD looks and feels like a revenge fantasy enacted in the really-existing world with its really-existing evils, which is to say it starts and ends with wrath, with all its limitations and rawness. There is no saving grace, no sober re-thinking, no inward reckoning, no redemption:

IStD shows the stakes of revenge and the wild swerves of cause and effect that expose those stakes, and surely this is what we would want from a revenge story made for the big screen, if we should ever hazard to want such a thing. See this one.

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