I'm a Cyborg, But That's Okay
((summary taken from AsianMediaWiki))
Young-goon thinks that she is a cyborg, and is admitted to a mental institution. She refuses to eat food, and for sustenance, she electro-charges herself with a transistor radio. Despite her stay at the mental institution, her condition does not improve. While wearing her grandmother’s dentures, she continues to talk to electric appliances ranging from vending machines to lamps.
An assortment of odd characters surrounds Young-goon at the mental institution. Sol-mi receives electrotherapy to cure her depression and keeps losing her memory. Dae-pyung is scared of his wife and has turned impotent. Gyu-suk suffers from a severe case of Oedipus Complex. Duk-chun thinks that he is the cause of all bad things and always seeks forgiveness. Eun-young is delusional and has conversations with imaginary people. And Soo-jin is addicted to plastic surgery. Then there is Il-soon. His mother has left him, leaving him deeply wounded, and like others at the mental institution, he has become anti-social. Il-soon believes and demonstrates to others at the hospital that he has the power to steal such intangible personal traits as character, attitude and habits from them. When Young-goon sees Il-soon playing ping-pong wearing a funny mask, she is readily taken with him. Despite the mask, Il-soon has good looks, and Young-goon finds his awkward ways charming. Il-soon, too, takes to Young-goon immediately and finds most beautiful her big, white front teeth. In a group session where patients give each other gifts, Young-goon asks Il-soon to steal her sympathy.
This movie was... well, weird. You'd think considering the title and the cover I would've expected that. But I didn't, so I'm either dense, stupid, or both. I thought it was going to be about a sane guy who falls in love with a patient and tries to rescue her from her insanity or something--not about a guy who's just as crazy, and willing to play into her psychosis. Again, this would've been one instance where reading the plot summary would have paid off!
Oh well. The story is definitely unique, and the characters alone made it well worth watching. But really... who hasn't seen a movie about a bunch of crazy people in an insane asylum? Personally, I much prefer the movie The Dream Team over this one--I mean, Michael Keaton, Christopher Lloyd, Peter Boyle--you can't get better than that.
Tale of Two Sisters, or the korean drama, I'm Sorry I Love You, if you want proof. And Bi (Rain) was awesome. LOL. It took me half the movie to realize it was him though, despite the fact that I've seen him in lots of other shows. First, I thought maybe it was just an actor that looks an awful lot like Rain and didn't start doubting this assumption until the yodeling song. (I'd never heard him sing before, so I didn't recognize the singing voice). It wasn't until the kissing scene of all things, that my suspicions were confirmed and I knew beyond a doubt that this was Rain. hahaha, only Rain can devour a girl's face like that! Either way, I love him as an actor, but I have to say, it was his singing voice that really blew me away! No wonder he's so famous in Korea!
Even if this movie wasn't all that I was expecting, it was still good in its own way. The lighting, for one, was excellent and I really liked how some of the shots were set up. The directing was terrific and creative; the music was perfect. The pace, however, was a little slow, and to be honest the story was kind of boring. Most of the movie was centered around the other characters trying to figure out what Young-Goon's "problem" is--why she won't eat. Of course, we already know, so there isn't much to keep us invested in watching everyone else trying to unveil the big "mystery". (Pssst: she thinks she's a cyborg. Why else would she talk to vending machines, lights, and pretend to shoot people with imaginary finger-guns?!) If I'm being perfectly honest, I was more interested in Il-Sun's "disease". Watching Rain run around and steal other peoples "problems" was hilarious... and I loved all his different masks... :)
Hmm... if I had to choose my favorite part of the movie, it would be the yodeling song. By watching this movie, I've learned I really adore Rain's singing voice, almost more than his acting (even though I really like him as an actor). But really, I got chills hearing him sing, and couldn't stop myself from rewinding it and listening to it again and again...
Which brings me to my main conclusion: this would have been better as a musical. The story was too fantastical and strange to be taken seriously, and having them randomly bursting into song would have been awesome beyond words. The fact that my favorite part of the entire movie was the yodeling song, seems to confirm this. Heck, even the girl who'd only look at the world through her mirror, had a cute little song to sing--if only it had been longer! The story as presented, just never managed to reel me in. I felt there was a lot more potential here than what we were shown. And as far as "artsy" films go, this story just didn't seem to warrant it... instead of trying to combine romance, comedy, and drama, they should have chosen one and focused on that only. Or just skipped it completely, and made a musical. They already had Rain... all they needed were more songs!