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The Trilogy You Didn't Know Oldboy Was A Part Of

In the 2000s, director Park Chan-wook introduced many to the world of South Korean cinema with his movie "Oldboy." The movie focuses on a man named Oh Dae-su (Choi Min-sik), who is mysteriously kidnapped and held prisoner for 15 years. After he emerges from his imprisonment, his bloody and gory quest for revenge against those responsible begins. With its unforgettable octopus-eating scene and gut-punching plot twist, "Oldboy" set the bar for the revenge-focused flicks that followed afterward.

Many were left pleasantly shocked by the film's unflinching action and unshakable story. Per The Atlantic, with a Quentin Tarantino-led jury panel at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival, "Oldboy" earned the Grand Prix Award, which immensely helped it gain international recognition. Director Spike Lee also loved the film enough to do a 2013 American remake. With so much recognition and praise, "Oldboy" could be considered Park's most well-known work, yet it's not the only revenge film from the director. In fact, "Oldboy" is a part of an intriguing trilogy on the subject of vengeance.

Oldboy is a part of the Vengeance Trilogy

"Oldboy" is the second film in a trilogy by Park Chan-wook famously known as the "Vengeance Trilogy" (via South China Morning Post). The series of films kicked off with the 2002 movie "Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance," which follows a father who tries to deliver retribution against those responsible for his daughter's death. The trilogy concluded with the 2005 movie "Lady Vengeance," which follows an innocent woman who did time for a grizzly child murder go after the man responsible.

Much like "Oldboy," the two other films depict people who go on a violent quest for revenge, but this is just the surface connection. As The New York Times noted, Park's "Vengeance Trilogy" flicks are thematically linked together thanks to their stylish yet uncomfortable depictions of violence, underdog protagonists driven by an extreme thirst for revenge, and unique use of dark humor. And thanks to the movie titles, fans might not have picked up on "Oldboy" being a part of this trilogy. The first and third films have the word "vengeance" in them, so it's easy to make that connection by name alone. So why didn't "Oldboy" have the word included in its title? Well, its source material might be a reason — "Oldboy" is the only film in the trilogy loosely based on a Japanese manga of the same name. Initially published in 1996, the "Old Boy" manga was created by writer Garon Tsuchiya and artist Nobuaki Minegishi (via IGN).