9 December 2006 | thebanquet
A bit boring,but a very fresh film from director Park Chan Wook
Director Park Chan Wook is known for creating very eccentric films, including his widely known 'vengeance trilogy'. In the interviews that he had with the Korean press, he said that he made 'Saibogujiman kwenchana'because he wanted to take it easy after finishing his vengeance trilogy. While it is definitely much less violent and different from his previous films, it certainly has a strong touch that separates director Park from the average movie director.
The storyline is simple,yet it is something that has never been tried before. Two patients at a mental hospital fall in love with each other. Young Goon(brilliantly played by Lim Soo Jung)is a patient who thinks she's a cyborg, having a strong dislike towards doctors(because they took away her grandmother when she was young)and not eating food for fear that her robot-body would break down. Il Soon(played by the sensational singer Rain)is a patient who thinks that he can steal other people's abilities and has a fear of being demolished from the world.
It's simple yet complicated because there are twists and turns everywhere that Park leaves unexplained. It's not your average blockbuster, I don't even know if foreigners would like this movie,seeing as that Lim Soo Jung and Rain are not famous in the western world.(although Rain was named one of the 100most influential people by Time Magazine last year) But in a world where the film industry is running out of ideas, this film is definitely outstanding, unlike the average cliché Korean love stories filled with Cinderella stories and triangular relationships. How many people could think up such a beautiful love story that takes place at a mental hospital? After watching this film, I truly understand why Park Chan Wook is a great film director. He's not the kind of director that only directs safe,cash-guaranteed blockbusters. He's the sort of director(like Kim Ki Duk)who takes a challenge and tries to create a new chapter in cinema history. Already rumors are spreading in Korea that this film is a front runner for next year's Cannes International Film Festival. Although I think it is totally a rumor, I do wish that this competes at Cannes, a festival that elevated Park into worldwide fame.