So the story that I am writing right now as part of my 30 for 30 is a revenge story. That’s the first thing I thought of when I heard that song. Well, one of the first things. I don’t know what that says about me as person but Oh well. Once I started writing “It’s Only” I started thinking about different revenge stories and I realized that there is a weird theme that runs through these stories depending on the level of revenge the character attains. There are always exceptions but as far I can remember of stories I have read or watched, most revenge stories tend to finish with incomplete revenge. The person attempting to get revenge usually stops it short of what most audiences would consider a full circle revenge. Either they change their mind about it or they somehow are unable to exact the revenge they originally intended due to one circumstance or another. One of the worst examples of this is when Prince Oberyn was defeated at the last second by the Mountain in Game of Thrones. I was pissed beyond belief. Almost stopped reading the series and physically felt ill watching it on the show.
In cases where they have the opportunity to exact revenge they end up offering the person who offended them a chance at redemption or forgiveness. Don’t get me wrong, there are a number of stories where revenge is achieved but normally the person who seeks it doesn’t feel fulfilled when it is reached and so they come to have regrets about attaining it. Most books tend to lean more toward the “Count of Monte Cristo” than the more exacting revenge “Lisbeth Salander gets in “The Dragon Tatoo” against the public servant who was supposed to supervise her. However I was recently introduced to a movie where revenge crosses into that realm of being taken possibly too far. Most revenge stories leave you feeling empathetically unsatisfied for the main character but in the Korean movie “I Saw the Devil” you feel the exact opposite. I don’t intend to spoil the story for anyone but “WOW” he goes in on the f*&%er who wronged him so terribly. Honestly, I can understand why. When someone does something so terrible and irreversible to your life a simple revenge may not feel enough. Those leftover feelings of unresolved anger and hate may cause a character to go overboard. I have certainly felt that someone deserved some real and severe comeuppance in various situations in my life so I can definitely empathize with what a mind made fragile by severe violations against their person might do. But when you watch the movie you will be like “Damn!”. Suffice it to say, watch the movie.