film review: I’m a Cyborg, But That’s Okay (2006)1 Comment
Park Chan-wook could hardly be described as a household name in the western world however, his films probably are far better known than those of some other Asian directors. Park Chan-wook is the director of The Vengence Trilogy which comprises of Sympathy for Mr. Vengence, Oldboy and Lady Vengence – and he really can do revenge.
I’m a Cyborg, But That’s Okay is a bit of a departure from those films though, for starters it’s a comedy. A bit of an odd comedy granted, but mostly a comedy. Cha Young-goon (played by Lim Su-jeong)is a girl who’s in a mental home because she believes she is a combat cyborg. Actually Young-goon’s main problem is not that the fact that she thinks she’s a cyborg, her problem is that because of this she will not eat and spends her days licking batteries and trying to talk to the machines around her. Anyway, in the hospital she meets a whole host of other patients, each with their own set of problems, including a handsome young man called Park Il-sun (played by the popular Korean singer Rain who believes he has the ability to steal anything from anyone, including personality traits.
So, what we have is essentially a love story with a twist. The twist being that it’s in a mental hospital. I really liked this film, though I’m starting to truly believe that I like all films. It was a sweet story, it had a good few laughs but I thought it managed to deal with creating the characters without getting too caught up in the mental hospital aspect of everything. There was a good balance there between the craziness of the situation and the core of what made the characters the way they were. It put me in mind of another Korean director – Bong Joon-ho who directed Memories of Murder and The Host – not because he’s Korean particularly but because he’s very good at getting that mix between humour and darkness. I can’t think of any up-and-coming American director doing that at the moment.
Anyway, I don’t have much else to say about this film except that it’s well worth a watch. I saw it in a packed theatre as part of the 2008 Jameson Dublin International Film Festival. I’m not sure if it’s going on general or even arthouse release wherever you are dear reader, however if you have a chance I would recommend watching it, even if you have to go searching for it in some odd video rental store.
Oh wait, two other things worth noting; nobody pulls out any teeth with hammer nor does anyone eat a live octopus in this film! 😉