June 02, 2008

PRINCESS AURORA (2005) - more vengeance from Korea

(2005, South Korea, Orora gongju)

If you’re getting withdrawal symptoms from not getting any more Vengeance movies, and I’m A Cyborg didn’t work for you, here’s another tale of revenge from South Korea…

As a scenario, this is superficially similar to Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, as it certainly doesn’t pull any punches revenge-wise. But unlike the Vengeance trilogy, rather than analyse the nature of revenge and the resulting cycle of violence, Princess Aurora has a more one-sided viewpoint as a film, and more single-minded than Dirty Harry as a character.

From the very start, we get the full brunt of the raw violence of the central character, as she mercilessly murders a step-mother for beating her little girl. Then she snuffs out another young woman who has been verbally cruel to a pizza delivery woman. This is extremely rough justice for the respective crimes, but the police are immediately on the case.

Little does one of the detectives know, just how involved in the case he already is. As the killing spree continues, the police are still clueless about her motive or identity, except for a Princess Aurora sticker left at each crime. Though it’s not shown in much detail, it looks like the Disney cartoon character from the animated classic Sleeping Beauty (1959).

This is a compelling thriller from the start, and just as it looks more like a typical cat-and-mouse detective story, the plot starts twisting. It’s not a whodunnit, but her motivation is more of a mystery - not a shallow Friday the 13th explanation, but the core of the film. This is a slickly-made, bloody thriller, with intelligent well-rounded characters. The plot gets a little far-fetched towards the end, but it doesn’t spoil the intensity of story.

Jeong-hwa Eom has the toughest role, showing the turmoil of her character, and having to play-act various other roles to infiltrate her way into her victims’ lives. Sung-keun Moon plays the Detective on the case, while he’s trying to study to be a Pastor!

Gorgeously shot in 2.35 widescreen, Princess Aurora is being released on DVD in the UK by Tartan at the end of June.

1 comment:

  1. I liked this movie and thought it was sad, everything she did had a motive.....that poor little girl reminded me of my own.