Saturday, April 05, 2008

I'M A CYBORG / SAIBOGUJIMAN KWENCHANA - Korean yodelling aside, this movie is a mess

Be White. Live White. Like this.
Fans of Park Chan Wook's trademark Vengeance films will be bemused, but probably not amused, but his latest film I'M A CYBORG (BUT THAT'S OKAY). It's the story of a girl who is so traumatised when her granny is put in a mental institution that she imagines she is a cyborg. Her mission is to lose her sympathy so that she can kill all the doctors and give her granny her dentures back. I use the word "story" in its loosest possible sense. This movie has the thinnest of narrative arcs, and most of the time it feels haphazard and lacks momentum. The first hour was desperately boring and while the second hour did contain an emotional victory of sorts, the movie lingered on for a good 30 minutes after that. By the denouement, when the girl and her friend are sitting in a field, praying for lightning to strike, so were we, because at least that would mark an end to the movie. It would also have provided a far cooler ending than the limp scene Park Chan Wook actually offers up.

The really annoying thing is that I'M A CYBORG had the potential to be a really great movie. Not a classic Park Chan Wook movie, mind you, but a Korean Charlie Kauffman-esque voyage into whimsy and the imagination. The production design is beautifully imagined and rendered. There are flashes of comic brilliance: not leaast the Korean yodelling and the electro-static flying scene.

Still, for all that, even die-hard fans (among which I count myself) are going to find it hard to sit through this film.

I'M A CYBORG opened in South Korea in December 2006 and played Berlin 2007. It opened in Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and France in 2007 and opened in Germany, Russia and Greece earlier this year. It is currently on limited release in the UK.


  1. Well, not really, we kinda love the film...

  2. Utter utter shite. Even where he gets it right (a little), the scenes look like a poor mans Kung Fu Hustle. Other than that it's boring and inconsequential.


  3. @1minutefilmreview: I'm pleased you liked the film. Sadly, I didn't share your enjoyment. Maybe you'd like to share *why* you enjoyed it?