Original Title: Ssa-i-bo-geu-ji-man-gwen-chan-a
Starring: Su-jeong Lim, Rain, Hie-jin Choi
Directed by: Chan-wook Park
Written By: Seo-Gyeong Jeong, Chan-wook Park
Rating: NR (US) Running Time: 1 hr 45 min
This film is about a young girl who enters a psychiatric ward believing she is a cyborg. To say it’s quirky is an understatement. Chan Wook-Park has a fantastic eye for vivid and colourful compositions and his use of all cinematic tools is masterful. If you liked his Vengeance trilogy and fancied something a little more light and fun, this will satisfy. Imagine a Korean “One Flew Over The Cuckoos’s Nest”, “Girl, Interrupted” mixed with “Amelie” and you’d get a rough idea. But you’d still be far away from pinning it down.
The playful atmosphere of this loony bin has dashes of pure fantasy and flashbacks. We see the main character Young-Goon (played by “Tales of Two Sisters” Su-Jeong Li) try to charge herself by licking batteries and we see how charged she is by how many toe nails light up! We see a character steal other patients belongings and their characteristics, we enter many other characters delusions and sometimes have very cool futuristic scenes of Young-Goon going on a rampage shooting anyone wearing white coats, as she believes she is on a mission to kill them in order to find her grandmother and return her false teeth. A young man who hides behind home-made masks takes it upon himself to convince her to eat, as worryingly, she doesn’t think robots need food, and it’s here that the film becomes an oddly romantic film as well.
It’s always inventive and refreshing and it’s lovely to have no idea where the film is going. This director is always exciting and if you haven’t tried any of his films this is a sweet lead in.
It’s hard to prepare for this, except if you want something crazy offbeat and refreshingly fun, this is a really satisfying colourful romp through people’s crazy imaginations.
HD – lovely compositions and picturesque fantasy.
Best element for me:
After becoming fully charged in some kind of CAT scan machine, our crazy heroine has guns come out of all her fingers and as she goes on a kill crazy rampage through her hospitals grounds has empty bullet cases spew out of her mouth. Very cool, weird and nuts.