I’m A Cyborg, But That’s OK (IACBTOK) is one of those movies that not only moved me, but left me scratching my head at the bonkers-ness.
It’s one of those movies where, you have to ride a lot of crazy shit to get to the heart-melting beauty within. But if you’re like me and you like the crazy shit, then you’re good to go.
The crazy is every bit as wonderful as the beauty though. And I wouldn’t change a solitary second of it.
Even the basic premise is crackers before you’ve even switched the movie on :
IMDb : A girl who thinks she is a combat cyborg checks into a mental hospital, where she encounters other psychotics. Eventually, she falls for a man who thinks he can steal people’s souls.
Young-goon (Su-jeong) is said “cyborg” and she refuses to eat just in case the food messes up her circuits and she breaks down.
Relying on personal radio transmissions and licking batteries for energy, her goal is to eliminate all the white un’s (doctors) who took her granny away and put her in a nuthouse. Only problem being, she hasn’t got the energy. And she’s just too damn lovely to fully remove her sympathy that allows her to pursue her goal.
Su-jeong absolutely throws herself into this role. So convincing and comfortable is she in it in fact, that I genuinely wondered on first viewing if she was actually the combat cyborg she believes herself to be.
When you watch too many movies you can sometimes start to see the actor/actress playing the part. So perfect is Su-jeong in this beauty, that you can never see it. Fully invested. Fully realised. Fully perfected.
I mean, we’re talking about a character that wears her grandmothers dentures to talk to light bulbs. A character that truly believes there are seven deadly sins for robots. A character that licks batteries and thinks she has rocket feet.
It speaks volumes that she can make you believe through all that, and makes practisers of a craft with a resume full of generic rom-com love-interest parts seem quite bland. Awesome lady.
Il-sun is the other half of this beautiful tale. Convinced that he will go so unnoticed that he will eventually fade into a dot, he steals other patients personalities just to keep existing.
Ignored and shown no attention by his parents, Il-sun genuinely believes he can become invisible. His somewhat selfish obsession with being noticed is dragging him down until his true calling in life arises : to keep Young-goon from starving to death and to hand himself over to love. Peace and happiness comes from turning selfish to selfless and Il-sun embodies this ideal wonderfully.
Played by a gentleman named Rain, I was not aware until after watching IACBTO that said gentleman was a ridiculously huge pop star in the east. This was also his first feature length.
Well cover my face in a rabbit mask and call me K-Pop. This guy deserves to be a star even from this movie alone.
He portrays so many different eccentric personalities as he goes through the first half of this movie and plays each one to loving perfection. But it’s during the second half where Rain really shines.
Casting aside selfishness to help our heroine get back on her feet, he starts the metamorphosis from wonderful madcap to a truly adorable love story (that’s also wonderfully madcap). Of course, it takes two to tango. And this tango is gold.
"Pop star in the movies" could put many off. Rain is above all that shit.
Director Chan-wook Park dreamed up the idea for this movie after completing his Vengeance Trilogy. Describing it as something to “give him a rest” after concocting a taxing set of movies. If this is what his idea of a “rest” movie is, then this guy should be the king of Hollywood.
Tarantino describes Death Proof in much the same way. His description was what he would refer to as a “left-handed” movie. Well Death Proof is my favourite movie and IACBTO is in the list somewhere high up too. So sometimes just doing something from the heart can touch an audience no matter how much the maker may play it down.
His use of colour and imaginative sets are a joy to behold. Everything from the way Young-goon has her toes light from pinky to big as she charges her batteries.
To the brightly covered pipes and padded cells. It’s loving tale and bonkers ideas was enough to more than hold my attention. The sets send it skyward.
I could go on and on about how much this movie means to me. And I haven’t even touched upon the amazing support cast. But if you’ve seen it, you know how perfect each and every part is. If you haven’t, it’s like a gem that just keeps shining brighter with every turn.
I wish there was a word for me to describe how i feel about this movie that meant more than ADORE!!!
Thank you for your time xxx