Ben’s review published on Letterboxd:
Moebius is an extremely difficult film to review. Nothing particularly good happens in it. A lot of depraved and horrific acts are depicted. It’s honestly depressing for the whole entire runtime. This was my third watch and there are still scenes that provoke a physical reaction from me. To make it even more challenging, there is no dialogue whatsoever. Despite all of these qualities, it’s engaging and hard to look away from.
It’s probably my least favorite Kim Ki-duk film that I have seen, but it still has plenty of admirable qualities. The performances across the board are all fantastic. So much is communicated with absolutely zero speaking. The tragic elements of the story are emotionally impactful. It almost gets to a point where you feel bad for everyone in the film, even the shitty people. I respect the audacity that Kim Ki-duk possessed to fully commit to the demented and depressing portrayal of a family breaking apart.
I must admit, I’m not sure if the film is supposed to be serving as any type of commentary. I’m not sure what all it was supposed to mean. Maybe the director just wanted to make people uncomfortable? If that’s the case, he certainly succeeded. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring is a life-changing watch. 3-Iron and The Isle have an underlying beauty beneath their brutality. Moebius is a multilayered messed up family tragedy, but outside of being shocked and sad at the end, I wasn’t particular blown away.
For the people who love extreme Asian cinema that pushes boundaries no matter the cost, this is most definitely worth watching. I don’t recommend starting with this film as an introduction to Kim Ki-duk, though. It might deter some from seeing his truly beautiful and powerful works. It should also be kept in mind that he was as controversial of a person as his films. He was caught up in assault allegations while he was still alive, and his films depict plenty of the things he was accused of himself. I certainly would not fault anyone for not watching his films, especially this one in particular.