I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK
Young-Goon works at manufacturing plant assembling radio’s. She also believes she is a cyborg. One day, while working at the factory, she decides to re-charge herself by slashing her wrist and implanting electrical wires into her arm. Her action gets Young-Goon a mental hospital full of bizarre characters. At New World, Young-Goon spends her time listening to the radio, talking with vending machines, and licking the terminals of 9 volt batteries. She soon encounters a guy named Il-Sun. Il-Sun is a thief of souls in the mental hospital. Young-Goon and Il-Sun soon form a strong bond as their odd personalities complements each other perfectly. Unfortunately, Young-Goon becomes gravely ill from malnutrition. Young-Goon doesn't believe cyborgs should eat human food. She soon loses most of her energy and becomes bedridden. Doctors say that Young-Goon has only a few more days to live if she continues her ways. Il-Sun must now find a way to connect to her soul and save her from imminent death.
I guess that Mr. Park, after serving up three savoury dishes of vengeance, thought it might be appropriate to whip up a sweet and fluffy desert. I recently sampled two out of the three main courses, and I can tell you that desert is exactly what I had in mind.
Park not only cleansed my palette, but he also went straight for my heart. He somehow knew that I craved the ingredients of quirky, absurd, and heartfelt, yet balanced with a dark, rich, flavour of longing and betrayal. He even added a hint of revenge to tie it into my previous courses. All the best chefs do that, and I really appreciated it.
With every spoonful I fell deeper and…
30 Countries, 30 Days.
Country: South Korea
Time Period: present, I think
Theme: Mental disorder, effects of treatment in childhood on adulthood, revenge fantasy
Style of Subtitle:
Funniest / Oddest Subtitle: "you shithead!" * It should be noted a subtitle from Thirst inspired this idea.
What did I learn about the country:
Coincidental relation to last country I watched: Some of the characters from Micmacs could mistakenly be admitted at this hospital
I heard there's an American remake planned: Starring Li Bingbing and Justin Timberlake. Directed by Quentin Dupieux
So here's a proper review. This movie caught me off-guard. I was going to watch I Saw The Devil (on my list for this challenge) and this…
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
This film should have been great. It had a great idea behind it, it contained a few outstanding absurd scenes, and the performances were really good. What it lacked though was a story. It wasn't enough to follow two really idiosyncratic characters in a mental institution just doing their thing for the full 90 minutes or so. I was reminded of Castaway on the Moon that also focused on two oddball characters who don't even talk to one another and the film was full of story and suspense, probably because the audience ends up caring about the characters, thereby rooting for them. In I'm a Cyborg there wasn't anything to root for because the characters never really did anything other…
I'm surprised, but that's OK, after all, no matter how strange this movie look at a first sight, still is a Chan-wook Park movie, and you gotta trust the man, because he knows what he is doing.
I'm a cyborg is a very collorful story about mental illness and also a very unusual love story, exploring all the dellusions and hallucinations from the characters to create an unique tale, surreal and easy to enjoy. The other pacients at the mental instituion, besides the two protagonists are hilarious, we get to know most of them throught the beautiful imagery created based on their wandering minds, but the "thief" and the "cyborg" are fantastic, they work perfectly well in their innocence and…
Like a Korean Wes Anderson film. That thought didn't occur to me until one of the final (well-composed) shots but now I can't unthink it.
Fun visuals, fun characters, fun editing, fun dialog, fun setting. This was by no means a perfect film but I didn't stop smiling once so I'd have trouble faulting it.
Most of the characters are absolute caricatures of mental illness but I still loved the way it was handled and how bizarre the whole thing felt. The way the doctors were all the crazy ones, and the patients just needed different socks so they could fly away in the night time.
...Have you missed your period? Because you're a 'sy-bor'?
This film is out there, fittingly exploring characters in an institution. Never quite laugh out loud, this comedy still manages to keep me smiling with its inherent charm, especially Rain's character. Oh, and the daydreaming robot murder spree is incredible.
Visually stunning and utterly charming. Less like Stoker and more like this please. The Blu transfer is immaculate.
Blimey Charlie, what a mental movie. I hadn't seen anything of Park's beyond the Vengeance trio, and it's been a damn long while since I'd seen those even, so this had rather the surprising effect on me. How delightfully original it is. Mad as nuts, sometimes to its detriment, but always quite quite new. And very very human, despite all the many abstractions. Nice to see a movie that's quite prevailingly sad overall be so colourful. And it's really nice to see mental health problems treated in such a stimulating and cinematic manner; people who love Silver Linings Playbook should be prescribed this movie, Clockwork Orange style. It bears a much more visible connection to reality, after all.
Going into this I really didn't know what to expect.... And now having seen the film I'm not quite sure how I know how to respond!
The basic premise of the film is that the main protagonist in the film, who is currently being housed in a mental institute thinks she is a cyborg which is of itself is a pretty crazy concept! That's not everything though as the film is set in a mental institute we come into contact with a vast array of characters with different conditions (my favourite being a man who is so polite and respectful he will not show his back to anyone and so must walk backwards out of rooms!).
Strange characters aside, this…
I have absolutely no doubt this is completely unrepresentative of mental illness, institutional treatments or the professionals themselves but what this film actually provides is a delightfully quirky, beautifully shot love story which I have a lot of time for. The style is without a doubt Park, but sometimes reminded me of the nicer elements of Burton. Some of the cyborg bits were particularly inventive.
The film has some great characters but the main two are where it's at, and a lot of the films heart comes from their interaction on screen. An unexpected and likeable gem from a director normally focussing on the darker elements of the human psyche.
Cute romantic comedy between two mentally ill people. It's neither a penetrating study of the mentally ill, the institutions that care for them, or the nature of love. What's left is whimsy that is occasionally charming, has a couple of arresting fantasy sequences in the Park Chan-Wook manner, but is insubstantial.
For all of its inventiveness and peculiarity Park Chan-wook's zany romantic comedy is a nonsensical, poorly paced and self-indulgent bore that fails to engage from the moment it begins. Its tough to criticise any filmmaker who pushes the boundaries of cinematic storytelling, because at least they are trying something different. In this case something very different. I'm A Cyborg, But That's OK is unique, but fails to offer anything more than that.
Over the course of a sluggish narrative, that's too enveloped with its self satisfying wackiness to ever entertain, you soon begin to realise that there's a reason why you've never seen anything quite like this before.
Continuing my quest to check out some more Chan-wook Park films, having watched Thirst recently, my next port of call was this tantalisingly named "rom-com".
The plot mainly focusses on a girl (Su-jeong Lim) who, after her insane grandma is taken away by the men in white coats, starts to lose her own sanity (although how sane she was to start with is debatable.) She is convinced she can hear voices instructing her what to do (which leads to an accidental suicide attempt), she believes she can talk to the fluorescent lights, vending machines, etc all because she is a cyborg. Her mission is to get her grandma's false teeth to her so that she can eat pickled radishes, but…