Confessions of a Film Junkie: A Review of “I’m a Cyborg, but that’s okay”
By: Brian Cotnoir
South Korean Director Park Chan-wook’s 2006 Romantic-Comedy, “I’m a Cyborg, but that’s Okay” is one of the most unique, bizarre, and enjoyable films I’ve seen in a long time. I know I say that a lot in this blog, but this is time, I’m actually serious. Everything about this film is fantastic. It has an interesting story, interesting characters, and an interesting setting. I’m actually quite surprised that American film studios haven’t attempted to rip-off off this film. It’s that good. As far as foreign films go I say it’s definitely in the Top ten of my personal favorite Foreign Films.
The films plot is the following: A young woman by the name of Young-Goon is committed to a mental asylum because she believes that she is a cyborg, but because Young-Goons mother is so embarrassed, she tells all the doctors that she attempted suicide, so the Doctor’s begin treating her for all the wrong reasons, which greatly upsets Young-goon. When Young-goon first get’s to the hospital she is reclusive and will only talk to the vending machine and the fluorescent lights. I just like how innocent and curious Young-goon’s character is. She is just so likeable in this film to the point where you wish you could just reach through the screen and give her a hug. Over the course of the film Young-goon begins to come out of her shell and begins to interact with and develop relationships with all the other patients.
|K-Pop Star Bi-Rain as Park Il Soon|
One of the patients Young-goon becomes very close to is a paranoid kleptomaniac named Park Il-Soon. Park Il-Soon is played by South Korean Pop-Star Bi Rain. Bi Rain from what I’ve learned is a big deal in South Korea—he’s kind of like the Korean Justin Timberlake. Although, his music isn’t very popular in North America, he is known worldwide for having to take a break from music at the height of his popularity to complete a Government mandated stint in the South Korean military. Bi Rain’s character serves as the films love interest, and I really like how his characters written. His character is a kleptomaniac and the reason he claims he steals is because if he does not steal thing’s he’ll vanish into thin air. The relationship between the characters Il-Soon and Young-goon is just so innocent. Rather than being the typical macho-man love interest, Il-Soon is very caring and nurturing to Young-goon. He tries to help her and watches over to make sure that take advantage of her. Since he’s a kleptomaniac it and not a—let’s say—schizophrenic, it’s much more believable that a mental patient is more likely to go out of his way to help a person. In many ways the patients in the mental hospital are way more helpful than the Doctor’s in this film.
Young-goon and Il-Soon aren’t the only interesting characters in this film though. I like how all the mental patients aren’t over-the-top looney’s. They all have an interesting background story. There’s a girl who won’t look someone directly in the eye to communicate and she instead sings into a mirror to communicate with others. There another woman who believes she can fly by lying on her stomach and rubbing her feet together while wearing magic socks. There’s one gentlemen who has to apologize for everything (whether or not it was his fault) because he’s afraid bad things will happen to him if he doesn’t apologize, and there’s even a man who only walks backwards because he believes it makes him invisible to everyone else.
Just do yourself a favor and see this film. I understand that sometimes it’s a pain to watch a foreign film and have to read the subtitles, but it really is a great film with a great story, and it’s just such a happy film that you can’t help but enjoy it.
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