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Vengeance Is Mine [Blu-ray]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Ken Ogata, Rentaro Mikuni, Chocho Miyako
  • Directors: Shohei Imamura
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Widescreen
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion Collection (Direct)
  • DVD Release Date: August 26, 2014
  • Run Time: 140 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00KE3B6B0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,548 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Vengeance Is M(Cc(Br)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
73%
4 star
20%
3 star
7%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 15 customer reviews
The ending is pure Imamura; a poetic farewell to Enokizu that is both eerily enigmatic and profoundly meaningful.
Kev
Considering the source material, Imamura maintains an almost documentary-like feel throughout the film, as emotionless and reptilian as the killer himself.
Zack Davisson
Shohei Imamura's Vengeance is Mine is savage, coldblooded, intense, and one of the best foreign films ive seen in a while.
Michael Andrews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Kev on May 27, 2007
Format: DVD
Again, Shohei Imamura's total control of his craft shows itself in his brutal masterpiece Vengeance Is Mine. This true story follows Iwao Enokizu (Ken Ogata), a con artist, thief and killer. The film starts with Enokizu's capture and uses unusual, but brilliantly effective editing and pacing to unravel the story of his life. We see Enokizu as a troubled boy in a strict Catholic home and turn into a scam artist and womanizer. As an adult Enokizu's resentment towards his religous father is compounded by rumors of an affair with the father and Enokizu's wife. As his hatered grows stronger and his crimes become more serious, we see first hand Enokizu's downward spiral into murder and the devastating consequences for those around him.

The disturbing nature of this film doesn't lie in it's gore factor (there are very few actual murder scenes), but rather with the non-judgemental view taken of the killer. Imamura neither glorifies nor condems Enokizu. He simply lets the character exist, and lets his inherent nihilism reveal itself. This nihilism is something that both Enokizu and the audience must grapple with throughout the film. Ultimately, Enokizu can only kill innocent people, being too much of a coward to face those he truly hates. This is fully realized in two emotionally gutwrenching scenes at the end of the film; one with Enokizu's lover and another with his father.

The family drama, the cat-and-mouse game between Enokizu and the cops, and some interesting third-act revalations make this two hour plus film quite an undertaking. Don't watch it while making dinner. But with the great acting (Ken Ogata especially), outstanding editing, interesting shooting locations and masterful direction, Imamura takes this messy story and turns it into an artistic, esoteric thriller. A sort of japanese Taxi Driver. The ending is pure Imamura; a poetic farewell to Enokizu that is both eerily enigmatic and profoundly meaningful.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Zack Davisson HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 4, 2007
Format: DVD
We like killers. Not your run-of-the-mill murderer thugs or violence-prone thieves who kill for profit, but the inverted psyche of serial killers is a fascinating subject. They hold the fascination of a predator species, like the great white shark or the alligator, dangerous and somehow cool. We don't want to meet them, and hope to god that they never walk though our door, but from the safety of a screen it is a thrill to flirt with their danger and ride along with them for a little while down a truly dark path. Especially in the hands of a master director like Shohei Imamura.

"Vengeance is Mine" ("Fukushu suruwa wareniari") is Imamura's take on Japanese serial killer and fraudster Akira Nishiguchi who went on a 78-day killing spree in 1964, claiming the lives of five people before being captured. Re-named to Iwao Enokizu in the film, he is a cold and reptilian character, able to lie and murder without any apparent shadow of a conscious, only taking the actions that advance his needs at any given moment. A rare Catholic in Japan, Iwao is an outsider, but not a loner, and he keeps companions for as long as he needs them.

Considering the source material, Imamura maintains an almost documentary-like feel throughout the film, as emotionless and reptilian as the killer himself. This is not the "serial killer as hero" motif of "Natural Born Killers", or even an attempt to explain and empathize as in "Monster". The camera takes no opinions, offers no point of view other than "These things happen", "This is life, and these things happen". The beast that is Iwao seems to take neither pleasure nor pain, just sensation, from his activities. He plays his game without passion, and that makes it all the more chilling.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By "eserhan" on February 22, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
In the beginning of Vengeance, there is a key scene of the film's main character. He is unrinating, in order to wash his hands off the blood of his victim. He then notices he's under a tree, wipes his hands with his jacket and picks an apple. He takes a bite and spits.
However, the point -we understand as the story unfolds engrossingly to contain many other characters in similarly true moments- is in fact to lay bare the human soul.
Immamura achieves very successfuly this main objective, through his immense storytelling powers: the over the top performances he pulls from his superb cast and his brilliant melding of the many subplots.(The editing here, in my opinion, is one the best works ever done in a movie.)
In a little over two hours, Vengeance speaks volumes about the many complexities of the human soul and offers many opportunities to confront its dark side. Thus, it is not an easy movie to watch. Yet it offers many insights to the Japanese culture, and is a great point to start knowing the Japanese cinema as well. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Glenn Gallagher VINE VOICE on October 20, 2010
Format: DVD
Vengeance is Mine is the kind of film Martin Scorsese would make if he were born and raised in Japan - it depicts the life of a brutal, remorseless, serial killer. Heck, the serial killer is even raised Roman Catholic, in a country with few Christians - and therefore has that built-in catholic guilt-redemption thing going for it. The fact that the film is based on actual events makes it even more brutal.

However, even though there are a few scenes of extreme violence, most of the film is that of a more thoughtful look at the killer's childhood and young adulthood, full of unhappiness and strife. Much of the film concerns the police hunt for the killer during a span of about three months when he was on the lam from authorities. Well-filmed, well-acted. Not your average Hollywood-style crime movie, this one is made with real feeling and quality.
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Vengeance Is Mine [Blu-ray]
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