Home Movie Vault Disc Vault Coming Soon Join Our Mailing List Articles About Us Contest Soundtrack Books eStore
(Saibogujiman kwenchana) (Korean)


  Publicity Stills of "I'm Cyborg But That's OK"
Courtesy of Encore Films

Alfred Bauer Prize Winner for Innovative Film at Berlin Film Festival 2007

Director: Park Chan-wook
Starring: Rain, Lim Su-Jeong
RunTime: 1 hr 35 mins
Released By: GV & Encore Films
Rating: NC-16
Official Website: www.cyborg2006.co.kr

Opening Day: 8 March 2007


Young-goon is admitted to a mental institution. Believing herself to be a cyborg, she refuses to eat and instead charges herself with a transistor radio. At the institution, she sees a young man playing ping pong wearing a mask. He is Il-soon, an off-beat character who has the ability to steal personal and intangible things from people, like habits and characteristics. Young-goon finds all this charming and they become fast friends. Young-goon faints because she refuses to eat, and even become delusional. Il-soon is racked with worry and is determined to get her eating again.

Movie Review:

Do not be fooled. This is no typical Korean romantic comedy. Fresh from his diabolical and intriguing vengeance trilogy (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Old boy and Lady Vengeance), director Park Chan-Wook breaks the genre’s traditional moulds (as well as his own) and delivers something totally out of the box.

I used to jest that to make it as a Korean actress (apart from Lee Yeung-Ae’s Guem Ja in Lady Vengeance), all you need do is cry and look vulnerable on demand. Not here. Lim Su-Jeong (Tale of Two Sisters) is utterly refreshing and convincing as paranoid schizophrenic Young Goon who thinks that she is a cyborg. Thus, she cannot eat and charging herself by means of batteries and communicates with vending machines and light bulbs using her grandmother’s dentures.

This film is also Korean pop sensation Rain’s first movie debut. Rain is Il-Soon, a Kleptomaniac who is afraid of vanishing, and has ‘the ability’ to steal other people’s personalities and powers. I must say that he’s acting is somewhat average but believable and definitely honest. And of course, he sings and gets to walk around in his boxers for a bit. But these are not the end of their eccentricities. The list is long and numerous as are the other colourful and plain bizarre patients in the mental institution including the bewildering polite man who walks backwards and a hilarious obese bully who is obsessed with her skin and has the ability to fly. But one common trait stands out – despite their ‘illness’ and predicaments, they all are trying to make sense of their lives.

Though retaining its similar Korean romance-like charms and providing some good laughs, this movie truly departs into a world of the neurotic, eccentric and downright strange. From the very beginning, viewers know that they are in for one wild ride, especially when Young Goon listens to a somewhat robotic voice, slits her wrists, inserts wires into the bloody mess and plugs it the wall. Park Chan-Wook has proven himself to be a master director and innovator of modern film.

The story itself is simple and can be succinctly told in a very short time. However, director Park takes his time, allowing us to see and live the perceived realities of the main and supporting cast. It is obvious he cannot shake off his twisted and murderous style from his Vengeance films – in one extended scene Young-Goon takes out the hospital staff in bloody orgy of bullets from her ‘finger pistols’ in revenge for the captivity of her Grandmother. Outsiders frown and misunderstand, but ultimately it is real for people with schizophrenia.

Nonetheless, by letting the audience delve into the perceived “realities” of the couple and the other characters, the film does become somewhat ponderous and slow. But apart from that, the writing is strong and the transitions between perceived reality and the real world is artful. The visual effects are also superior.

We reflect on the characters and of ourselves. Are we so different from the patients at Park’s mental hospital? Amid the chaos and madness of our lives, we still love, we laugh, we feel, and we all seek the meaning and purpose of our own existence.

Movie Rating:

(A breath of fresh air and a happy ending!)

Review by Darren Sim

DISCLAIMER: Images, Textual, Copyrights and trademarks for the film and related entertainment properties mentioned
herein are held by their respective owners and are solely for the promotional purposes of said properties.
All other logo and design Copyright©2004-2007, movieXclusive.com™
All Rights Reserved.