Viewed – 11 October 2008 DVD
Oh my god, this was a strange film. I rented it because basically, this was directed by Park Chan Wook, who made (for me at least) three of the most impressive foreign movies I think I’ve seen in years, namely his celebrated Vengeance Trilogy (Sympathy for Mr Vengeance, Old Boy and Lady Vengeance).
This weird tale follows the story of a young woman who is put in a mental hospital after she electrocutes herself whilst working in a factory by slitting her wrist open, putting a cable in her arm and wiring herself up to the mains (!!). You see after the trauma of seeing her mentally ill grandmother sent away in an ambulance, the young woman thinks she is a cyborg for some reason. For the rest of the movie, she believes she’s this robot, and goes on hunger strike thinking food will cause her to shut down. She even goes about licking batteries for energy, but soon befriends a guy who is also a patient and has more than a few problems of his own.
This eye-catching film is difficult to follow, as it has a very vague narrative, lots of surreal imagery (including the woman shooting up all the doctors in the hospital with her fingers, in a brilliant sequence) and lots of bizarre characters. Its also difficult to recommend this to anyone, as really I can’t see anyone particularly enjoying it – its very talky so the subtitles prove hard to keep up with, the characters aren’t particularly likable and it just kinda ends, with nothing really resolved. On a plus though, its very nice to look at, has some startling set design and a vivid colour scheme, so maybe if arty pretty films are your bag, make it a 3, but otherwise…
Verdict: 2 /5