What does the Action/Revenge Genre mean?
What do we take away from these revenge films that span cultures? Do we use these movies and novels as a how to guide on revenge, should we aspire to be these heroes? No, probably not. These characters are clearly psychopaths.
In the case of these revenge centered novels/movies the heroes are the way they are due to psychological trauma from imprisonment and the death of loved ones, usually a wife or daughter. However, if the family is always assumed dead, why not just escape to Hawaii and mourn your loss there?
In the end is Revenge worth it?
According to the Revenge-genre. Yes. Well, sort of.
Ultimately this genre is filled with bitter sweet endings. In The Count of Monte Cristo Edmond never marries his true love, but he gets her to leave her husband to join a convent (meanwhile he elopes with his exotic mistress, not a bad consolation prize).
Even in the twisted drama that is Oldboy, where Dae-su is tricked into falling in love with his by then adult daughter (yes this movie involves incest), the hero is able to “erase” his memories and preserve his sick and twisted love-affair with his daughter.
Ultimately, I think the question this genre poses to its audience isn’t whether or not we should seek retribution but what does revenge mean for those who do?
Is revenge something natural and animalistic deep inside us? Is Revenge a divine ability, one that only humans can enjoy: sophisticated and complex like an Alexander Dumas novel? Or is it something that threatens to turn us into animalistic monsters? Such as in Oldboy?
Or Is it both?
This Blog is dedicated to myself as well as to Anne Cong-Huyen, who is not only super cool but is also grading this.