Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Park Chan-wooks "I'm A Cyborg, But That's OK" (2006)

Park Chan-wook is now best known for his visceral and intense "Revenge" trilogy that features Oldboy, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, and Lady Vengeance. Viewers of this film that only know Park from those three films will be left out in the cold if they don't receive some kind of heads up on what type of film this is. This is a Korean comedic/romance film. It's quirky, funny, at times cute, and beautiful. That doesn't mean it's a normal film by any means. This film is at times pretty bizarre and unconventional. What every viewer of the "Revenge" trilogy will find though is Park Chan-wook's outstanding visuals. This film just glistens. I'm no veteran of romantic comedies, foreign or American, but this is by far one of the most impressive ones in terms of cinematography.

This film follows a young girl, Young-goon, who believes she is a cyborg. She comes into contact with fellow inmate Il-soon, who is a thief of items and personality traits. When Young-goon stops eating because of her belief in her cyborg state, Il-soon does all he can to help her survive.

This film features two big Korean movie stars. One being popstar Rain. I swear if I didn't read that he's a popstar I could never have guessed it. He gives a very convincing performance. As does the other star, Su-jeong Lim. I've only seen her in A Tale of Two Sisters, and once again she performs well. These mental institution patient roles must have been challenging to approach for the two and they did a great job convincing me. Their performances give the film a tender quality. You ultimately end up caring for both characters.

The ending of this film is a little confusing, as it kind of ends without a any true resolution to the character relationships. If you watch close enough though you'll realize a few things about both Young-goon and Il-soon and their motivations and what they are worrying about. One example is the way Young-goon reacts to the rain getting into the food. I won't go too far into it as it's far more fun for the viewer to decide for themselves. The outcome is truly beautiful which corresponds with the films beautiful visuals. This is a bizarre, quirky, yet truly heartwarming film.

If you expect another violent revenge thriller while popping this film in you're going to be sorely disappointed. If you can accept the film for what it is and see the inner beauty of the story and the characters, you'll really end up enjoying the film as much as I did.


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