Sunday, 19 August 2007

EIFF- I'm a Cyborg, but that's OK- Review by Emma J Lennox

Director: Park Chan-Wook
Screenwriter: Park Chan-Wook
Runtime: 105min
EIFF Screening:
Sun 19 Aug, 22:00, Cameo 1
Wed 22 Aug, 17:30, Cameo 1

I'm a Cyborg But That's OK is Park Chan -Wook's first feature film since completing his revenge trilogy in 2005 with Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, but the theme of reprisal isn't far from thought in this quirky fairy tale of disillusion. From the opening title shots, Chan-Wook displays his visual flair in fluid camera movements and a humorous style which lies somewhere between Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Terry Gilliam. Cha Young Goon (Su jeong Lim) is a young radio factory assembly line worker who believes she is simply following instructions when she slits her left wrist, inserts wires into her arm and plugs herself into the mains. Claiming “I'm not a psycho, I'm a cyborg,” Goon is taken into care at a mental institution where she is introduced to assorted 'crazies' with varying delusions. The narrative takes an episodic structure showing all the quirks and fantasies of the patients, illustrating them with CGI effects and flashbacks for often funny results. In a bizarre twist on a Pinocchio style tale, to become a 'real cyborg' Goon must rid herself of sympathetic emotions. The loose plot then centres on Goon's wish to destroy the doctors (in a hail of bullets from her robotic fingertips) because she blames them for taking her Grandmother away. At times this is an over complicated, confusing film and its whimsical attitude to mental health is too flippant. Yet the colourful characterisations and witty one liners create an inventive distraction which in small doses can be an enjoyable experience.

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