Take a Drink: for each new insanity… haha, no, that’d be brutal
Take a Drink: whenever a patient calls somebody crazy or psycho
Take a Drink: for radio messages
Take a Drink: whenever somebody talks to an inanimate object
Take a Drink: for bunny mannerisms
Take a Drink: for table tennis
Take a Drink: for cats
Take a Drink: for stolen “powers”
Do a Shot: for sanity
By: Henry J. Fromage (Three Beers) –
Park Chan-wook made a romcom once. Does that sound weird to you? It does to me… kind of like Terrance Malick making a comedy or Eli Roth making a children’s cartoon.
I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK is about Young-goon (Im Soo-jung) who’s placed in a mental institution. There she must figure out how to recharge enough to terminate the “white-uns” who took her poor Granny away for eating nothing but pickled radish and talking to mice. The young power-stealing, rabbit-loving Il-soon (Rain) thinks he may be of service.
I’m a Cyborg is a fucking unending cascade of insanity, like if Ken Kesey had written One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest on PCP instead of LSD, then Peewee Herman had been the one to bring it to the big screen.
This. All day long.
Park Chan-wook goes hogwild literalizing and bringing to life the various delusions and tics of the inhabitants of this asylum, bringing every trick in his filmmaking handbook to bear. The result is oddball as all hell, but frequently very funny and even, especially within its own logic, charming as a love story between two very broken people.
Some credit for this must go to the leads of course, and Rain in particular exudes likability and hangdog charm. Im Soo-jung might look like Yo-Landi Vi$$er from Die Antwoord, but is able to add a hint of pathos to her largely comic turn.
I Fink U Freaky…
Well, this is about as far from an empathetic PSA for the plight of the institutionalized as can be, but hopefully even the most hardened activist can concede that this is basically Looney Tunes. More damning is the fact that I’m a Cyborg doesn’t appear to have anything to say beyond “hey, check out this crazy antic or camera angle!” It’s never boring, or even confusing (surprisingly)… it’s just pointless outside of being an exercise in style.
It could be much, much worse…
I was prepared to forgive this entirely until the film made a late stab at higher meaning before coming to a close. The love story is fine, but they should’ve left Granny’s last words a mystery, because as gorgeous as that final shot is, (SPOILERS??) Young-goon’s clearly gonna realize what the message was and electrocute herself spectacularly, right?
Yeah, for better or worse, this is what a Park Chan-wook romcom would look like. I’m leaning towards better.