“There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness”. A few words from humorist Josh Billings are closing another chapter on vengeance portrayed this time by Wong Ching-po in “Revenge: A Love Story”. It’s different from all of the others centered on the same theme, Revenge is a particular kind of rollercoaster, not because of a fast paced editing or a video clip directing style. It’s a rollercoaster because it analyzes every aspect of vengeance. Vengeance is hate. Vengeance is indifference. Vengeance is Love.
The cars run all along the railroad and it’s fast going up and down, joining love and hate into a deadly vortex, keeping them tied together with indifference, the only kind of feeling that has in itself both of those opposite emotions which will find an ending in the cruelty of forgiveness. Wong Ching-po will be remembered for having been able to describe the two sides of the Light: the natural and the artificial ones, telling us what does he think about religion, law and those organization that Sion Sono had already introduced us in “Love Exposure”. Congregations whose goal is to live in harmony with everyone, but behind the surface their aim is to destroy civilization as we know it, erase its moral and ethic.
This society is like Frankenstein, built over blood and then abandoned by mankind in the hand of men’s utopia. Society is everywhere, it doesn’t need to chase its creator because men live inside her and it’s trying to crush them. Kit (Juno Mak) is a good and a bit stupid guy who works in a little shop placed on the same road that Wing (Sola Aoi) takes everyday with her grandmother to go back home from school. They both love each other and they don’t care if he isn’t smart and she’s unfortunately a little retarded, because wherever they are there is Light. The problem is that this is not the real beginning: the movie starts with a boy killing cops and tearing apart their pregnant wives. There’s no modus operandi, there is just rage, a rage that has reached an unbearable level of brutality.
Wong Ching-po shows us a bunch of puppets running, walking, screaming and bleeding in a movie that flows like a novel, and maybe that’s what he really wanted to do by dividing it into chapters. Nothing in the plot could be seen as particularly original, but the director is able to create something that hits our minds: he starts from a silence that slowly becomes a noise and then words that put together will give us a short sentence that tells what a violent world this is. It doesn’t matter if the landscape will be white and pure, ‘cause blood will always flow and Jimmy Wong, a great cinematographer, gives to this movie the perfect emotional contrast while melting everything together when it’s time to turn off the light and be surrounded by darkness.
There are plenty of spectacular action and dramatic scenes perfectly acted by Juno Mak and Sola Aoi, while the others are just what you could describe as functional and nothing more, because this is not a tale where actors have their chance to show their skills (even if it’s important in order to have a good movie): Revenge is a film with a message more important of the people involved in its explanation. I think that we have to remember Wong Ching-po, I’m quite sure he’ll do something amazing again.