April 22nd, 2008

Michael Clayton

I'm a Cyborg But That's OK, Michael Clayton, There Will Be Blood

I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK - Saibogujiman kwenchanaI'm a Cyborg, But That's OK
An absurd romantic comedy about a girl (Lim Su-jeong) who thinks she is a combat cyborg who checks into a mental hospital, where she encounters other psychotics. Eventually, she falls for a man (Rain) who thinks he can steal people's souls. It goes without saying that the only thing this movie has in common with South Korean director Park Chan-wook's revenge trilogy are the remarkable visuals.

This is so far the most difficult movie for me to write about in order to keep track of the movies I've seen this year at the theatre since I don't really know what to make of it. In the movie there are lots of nice little ideas and scenes that I liked. For example, since the girl thinks she's a cyborg, she tries to "recharge" herself using batteries instead of eating and her glowing toes show her energy level in various colours. She's also trying to communicate with other machines. And there are lots of other inventive little scenes like that that can best be compared to Michel Gondry's style in The Science of Sleep. I also liked the main plot, the relationship between the girl and the boy who tries to make her eat again.

But there are also things that I thought are stretching the movie a bit much like the introduction of a book of seven deadly sins or the back-story of her family and their radish-eating habits. I also wasn't able to make sense of entire scenes. And even though I suspect they weren't made to be understood I still found them unnecessarily taxing.

I thought about fifteen minutes before the end there was an excellent moment to finish the movie with a more "traditional" ending (on a relative basis). It would've been a nice compromise between the absurdity of much of the movie and more conventional storytelling. But it seems Park thought that would've been too normal so he added a few more scenes which left me again a bit lost.

Overall I thought a little less absurdity would've been more. If you like absurd comedies and like Michel Gondry's style then I recommend that you have a look at this one, just be prepared that not everything will make sense. If you'd like to get an impression of how the movie looks like, please have a look at two of the available trailers.


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