Have you ever gone to a movie alone? Sometimes I actually prefer to see films by myself. In some strange way, seeing a movie solo can let you reflect on it a bit more that usual. You don't have to talk about the experience immediately afterward. It can sort of linger in your head a while. It's actually kind of fun.
I walked to the Century the other evening and saw 'Lady Vengeance,' a Korean film by Chan-wook Park, who co-wrote it with Seo-Gyeong Jeong. Park, a fan of revenge films, also wrote and directed 'Oldboy' in 2003.
'Lady Vengeance' plays along the same theme of revenge, but it takes you on a much wilder ride than you expect. There are some moments of very dark comedy juxtaposed with raw, gritty emotions that at first seem out of place, but then fall into view.
The lead character, Geum-Ja, is sent to prison for the kidnapping and murder of a child, but soon finds out she has been betrayed. A calculated plan is laid out, and during her thirteen year stay, she plots every detail of her revenge. Along the way, she forms some bizarre and comic alliances with her fellow inmates.
If you saw 'Kill Bill' and enjoyed it, do not miss 'Lady Vengeance.' The two movies are radically different in style, but the theme of the strong female plotting and enacting her revenge runs through both. Park has a keen eye for noir, and has really created a beautiful movie.
But I couldn't let my week start in such a dark way, so I went to see 'The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee' the next night and laughed my way back to middle ground. Playing at the Drury Lane Water Tower, the tiny cast of nine lights up the stage in this open run production of the Broadway hit.
Six students and four audience members ( get there early if you want to be on stage ) try to spell their way to first place, moderated by two adults and a comfort counselor. Along their journey, some get knocked out, and some learn more about their life than they thought possible.
The character of Olive Ostrovsky, played by Cristen Paige, really stole the show for me. Her beautifully clear voice is showcased in one of the later musical numbers called 'The I Love You Song' where she laments how her parents never made it to the Bee to see her spell.
Easily, this is the most funny musical I've seen in quite a while. I was laughing from curtain up to the close. The fast-paced music and lyrics, penned by William Finn, keep the energy of the cast at the boiling point the entire time. You can tell they are really having fun with the material, which makes it all the better for the audience. If you see just one musical this summer, make sure you see 'The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.' Visit drurylanewatertower.com for ticket details.
With you in 4/4,