(aka "I'm a Cyborg, But That's Okay' or 'Saibogujiman kwenchana" )

 

directed by Park Chan-wook
South Korea 2006

 

This is quite probably the weirdest love story you’re likely to see. It takes place in a mental hospital, between an anti-social schizophrenic and a girl who thinks she’s a cyborg. This, though, is okay, because they’re both comfortable with their situation. They never question things or cause much trouble. They go on with their lives, not really caring or questioning what’s going on. So, it’s okay. In fact, the title is a lot more appropriate that it may seem at first.

The movie starts out simply, with a lady wheeling Yeong-goon in the floor, explaining who everybody is. This, we learn, is trash, as the doctor quickly comes in and tells Yeong-goon that his lady invents stories to make up for lost memories. What, then, should we trust, if the first explanation of the movie is false? Perhaps, not trusting anything is the best way to go about your life.

Watching everything, insinuating itself everywhere is Park Chan-wook’s incredible visual style. With a camera following, bobbing and weaving through patients and walls, it’s both creepy and stylish. There are no secrets here, and the camera makes sure it stays that way. The music, in contrast, is light and jazzy. A strong counterpoint to the serious matter, it lightens the tone, making everything seem normal and natural.

In his first feature film, Korean pop star Rain (Jeong Ji-hoon in the credis) gives a great performance, subtle but layered. His willingness to help others is commendable, and especially his commitment to Yeong-goon, played by Lim Soo-jeong (who wowed me in ‘A Tale of Two Sisters’). They’re very natural living inside characters that live in their own logic with heir own rules. They play these strange characters, yet feel very natural.

We all have problems. Sometimes, others can help us, but ultimately you’re the one that has to solve the difficulties in your life. I find it interesting that the person diagnosed as being anti-social goes around trying to help everybody. Whether he succeeds or not, I suppose, is not important. It’s the act that counts, right? He falls for this girl wearing dentures and wanting to find out her purpose. He’s nice and understanding, but she’s the only one that can figure out who she is. So, Young-goon is a cyborg, but it’s okay.

Pat Pilon

Posters

Theatrical Release: December 7th, 2006

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Bear Entertainment - Region 3 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover

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Distribution

Bear Entertainment (CJ Entertainment)

Region 3 - NTSC

Runtime 1:47:12
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.66 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Korean Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 kbps)
Subtitles English, Korean
Features Release Information:
Studio: Bear Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Disc 1:
• Commentary by Park Chan-wook and director of photography Jeong Jeong-hoon
• Commentary by Park Chan-wook, lyricist Jeong Seo-gyeong and actors Lim Soo-jeong and Jeong Ji-hoon
• Commentary by film critic Kim Yeong-jin
• Disc 2:
• 1. No Sympathy – Vengeance Ends, Love Starts (12:05)
• 2. No Trap in Sorrow – Making a Romantic Comedy (20:26)
• 3. No Beating – Cyborg Loves Anti-Vanishing (2 interviews w/ stars, 18:26)
• 4. No Hesitation – Digital Camera (10:40)
• 5. No Spot for Writing Fancy Ideas – Staff Interviews (6 interviews, 52:55)
• 6. No Guilt – Deleted and Alternate Scenes (7 scenes w/ optional director comm., 7:13)
• 7. No Thanking the Mind – Director, Actors at the Berlin Film Festival (6:22)
• 8. Director’s Choice “2 Minutes” (14:29)
• 9. Promotion: Trailer (2:01), Teaser Trailer (1:47)

DVD Release Date: May 8th, 2007
2-disc amaray case

Chapters 20

 

 

Comments:

Once again, Park Chan-wook and friends deliver a great movie and a great DVD. The picture is generally great, but with the use of a digital camera, some shots were a bit too much, and, as the first capture shows, you get very slight macro blockiness. This is never a problem, though - I only noticed it when I capped the movie, and looking at the movie again, I only noticed it in that particular scene. The colours are amazingly bright and vivid, almost jumping off the screen. The transfer is progressive and anamorphic, and reveals no edge enhancement or any other problems. It's a great transfer.

The sound is likewise very good, though there's no DTS track this time, which puzzles me. Not that the movie completely deserves one, but it would have been nice to have. The track, as it is, is very natural and enveloping. Everything is clear, and the track is well balanced.

As for the extras, they're pretty good. They don't have any subtitles, but there's plenty of behind the scenes footage of keep people interested. The cut scenes are nice and they add a little bit depth, and one in particular is quite interesting in its implication. The interview about the opening credits, I'm sure, is fascinating, if you understand everything. Again, these are great, quality extras from Mr. Park and his gang.

 - Pat Pilon

 



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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Thinking of buying from YesAsia? CLICK HERE and use THIS UPDATED BEAVER PAGE to source their very best...

Distribution

Bear Entertainment

Region 3 - NTSC

 





 

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