I think one of the easiest ways to make a movie, would be to make one about mad people in a mental institution. Anything and everything can happen, you don't have to explain every minute detail, and the bottomline is, you can interpret it in whatever way you want. I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK runs along similar lines, having its two lead characters patients of a psychiatric ward, but therein lies some structure of a story about love, reaching out, and in making sense of life (not to mention the movie as well).
Directed by Park Chan-wook who gave us his famous Vengeance trilogy (Oldboy, Sympathy for Mr Vengeance and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance), it's a very big leap from that trilogy, into something more fantastical, light hearted, bright, and may I say, at times nonsensical as well. But there were some lapses into teasing audiences familiar with his more violent trilogy, incorporating signature scenes which were a blast as I thought they were inserted at appropriate moments when you just want to lash out at everything else happening in the story.
The introductory scene reminded me of Wisit Sasanatieng's Citizen Dog (in fact, the general look and feel of the presentation resembled it, minus the voice over narration), where we see Young-goon (an extremely appropriate subtitled name, played by Im Soo-jung) degenerate into madness and gets herself warded into an asylum. She starts to think of herself as a cyborg, and develops special affection with florescent lamps and vending machines, while refusing to eat, as it will mess with her internal machinery. And we meet Il-soon (Rain), who develops feelings for her, and embarks on a quest to convince and get her to eat, while sharing with her tender moments as they make sense of their worlds within the confines of an institution.
The big draw to the movie for local audiences will no doubt be Rain. In his debut feature film, fans will no doubt be flocking to the cinemas to catch their latest idol in action, with the only snag that those below 16 cannot gain admission (rated NC-16). Female fans will be thrilled that he sings a little in the movie, and yes, bares that famous chest of his. We're talking about the man who has held a concert here with the highest ticket prices (the most expensive being S$888), though the preview I was in, was surprisingly, less than 20 persons in attendance.
For starters, I do not know of his appeal, nor do I listen to his music, but I thought he performed reasonably as Il Soon, a thieving man who believes he can absorb the abilities of others, and does so to comedic effect. Actually, what turned out appealing to me, was centered onto the background madcap people, the supporting cast playing all sorts of crazy characters. Some with dialogue, others just preoccupied in their own little worlds, doing their own little repetitive actions, most of which just draws out chuckles.
It's a love story within plenty of fantastical sequences. Just don't try to make sense of things that don't seem to make sense, and you'll be able to breeze it. And on that note, I'm a Cyborg, but That's OK may not be everyone's cup of tea, in the traditional romantic comedy sense.