“Revenge: A Love Story” is a thriller coming from Hong Kong and directed by Wong Ching-Po who also co-writes the script with Jill Leung. This is based on an original story by the main actor Juno Mak and sets off to make appearances in several world festivals.
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The film starts with an unsettling scene of a police officer’s struggle. The man that tries to kill the police officer is Chan Kit (Juno Mak) who also previously had removed the police officer’s unborn child from his pregnant wife and threw it in a river. The finding of another pregnant woman’s body and a fetus lying close to her follows as this woman is the wife of another police officer. The police manage to arrest Chan Kit while he is trying to escape from the murdering scene by riding a bus. As the news of the murders and the arrest make the headlines, Cheung Wing (Sora Aoi), a mentally impaired pregnant woman, burns a photo of her with a young man. This man is none other than Chan Kit. Afterwards, without hesitation, she takes a kitchen knife and goes to the bathroom where she removes her unborn child from her womb. A flashback reveals the tragic story of the two protagonists and the course of events that led them to the unthinkable.
Wong Ching-Po is incredibly skillful with the camerawork, as he carefully chooses the close-ups which occasionally are quite disturbing. Furthermore, the utilization of slow motion, in combination with the haunting music by Dan Findaly, build up the suspense and tension. Though what was unexpected is the choice by the director to embed few funny scenes like the reaction of Chan Kit when he was browsing through an adult magazine – obviously, his first time coming across this kind of publication.
Juno Mak as Chan Kit is exceptional and it comes to no surprise that his performance granted him the award for “Best Actor’’ at the 2011 edition of the Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival. His transformation is truly remarkable. Starting as a calm, careless and compassionate young man who sells steamed buns to how he becomes a calculative, rough and emotionless killer is a phenomenal manner of change. What stands out is the reverse order that the change in his character appears in the storytelling, as at first, we see a bloodthirsty Chan Kit and then the warm-hearted Chan Kit. The rest of the cast is also praiseworthy, especially Sora Aoi, a famous AV actress who pulls off excellently the difficult role of the sweet and fragile Cheung Wing.
As the movie’s title suggests, the unconditional love for somebody can lead to extraction of revenge if this loved one is violated and severely hurt, emotionally and physically. In this case, it can be said that revenge becomes an extension of love. Finally, the film delivers a crystal clear message: revenge leads to a vicious circle of tears and blood.
Despite all the above, “Revenge: A love story” is not flawless especially due to some exaggerated scenes towards the end. Regardless, fans of revenge movies definitely should add the film in their watch list because it is a nice addition to the revenge genre.