Koreans make the best films about revenge. There is no doubt about it. Revenge is a very primitive emotion that all of us experience; whether it’s the high school teacher who didn’t think you’d amount to much or an old lover who dumped you.
Korean director Chan-wook Park made a very disturbing trilogy of movies. Oldboy, Sympathy for Mr.Vengeance & Lady Vengeance are all very unforgettable. They examine the power of revenge and how it drives people to dark places.
It is desperation, revenge and loneliness that feed the dark places in each of us or when we are missing our anchors within. In The Man From Nowhere, made in 2010, our hero is devastated by grief. He is lost except for the friendship of his young neighbor.
Recovering from grief means having more than the two anchors of work & partner. Our hero only has those two and when he loses his wife he abandons his work and is called the ghost by people in the community. The actor Bin Won has the most amazingly sad face ever on film.
What else is important in your own life? What holds you together & makes you tick? Everyone needs all sizes of anchors. A small one might be a favorite t.v. show that makes you laugh or the smell of ripe homegrown tomatoes in July. A medium-sized anchor might be dinner with friends or a weekend away. A large anchor might be reading or gardening.
It is anchors that help you decide not to cave into your dark side to exact revenge. It’s having too much to lose in your life to act badly (& I don’t mean owning stuff).
The more anchors you have to tether you to the earth, the better off you are.
Without anchors people get lost in their intense revenge, intense ritualistic eating disorders or lost codependently in a relationship with someone else. The beginnings of determining your anchors is to learn to sort out your wants. Start by discovering small wants and build upon them.
When you are anchored within yourself then you will find it easier to forgive. It is forgiveness that is the opposite of revenge. The high school teacher didn’t really know who you are….the lover who dumped you did so prematurely, there wasn’t time to learn from your mistakes. Forgiveness allows you to recognize the complicatedness inherent in each situation. Revenge is too simplistic, there are only good guys or bad guys.
WARNING:These movies are not for the faint of heart. All three are intensely violent. Hopefully, just watching these 4 movies will kill off anyone’s desire for actual revenge.
Has anyone seen any of these 4 movies?