Saturday, April 18, 2009

[SIFF09] The Story of Mr Sorry (Je Bul Chal Ssi Yi Ya Ki) (International Premiere)

I'm Sorry

If memory serves me right, this film would probably serve as SIFF's first "Midnight Madness" styled screening. And true to the spirit of late night shows during festivals, one will come to expect the strangely bizarre, though the starting of the film, and the premise itself, had set it off looking very much like a black comedy.

I don't suppose there are any real life professional ear cleaners in the way it was presented in the film, like an army of trained soldiers eager to bring blissful orgasm when they stick their tool into your orifice, and begin to dig, each scoop bringing about a combination of pain, relief and ecstasy. If there are any, I'd sure would like to give it a go, since they come armed with a myriad of tools, with no ear too deep or wax too hard to remove. They do house calls too, besides knocking randomly from door to door looking for customers.

The film begins with a public trial of Mr Sorry, who has to account for a missing politician, but Mr Sorry himself was nowhere to be seen. The trial itself looked like any modern day reality show where the audience and viewers are supposed to vote and provide a Guilty or Not Guilty verdict, for the event ominously titled "To Kill Or Not To Kill". For most parts the narrative deals in flashbacks, painting the life story of Mr Sorry as an often bullied employee who doesn't rake in any satisfactory services in his chosen profession.

That is until a science experiment was conducted on him without his knowledge, and overnight he becomes a Ear Waxernator sensation, bringing about 100% customer satisfaction. His ability now extends to being able to peer into his client's secret desires and history given that the ear canal seemingly offers a direct passage to the inner sanctum of his client's minds, and from there he often discovers that there are more to his clients than meets the eye. This ability also provided him an avenue to seek out his long-lost sister, which the narrative deliberately paints quite suggestively at this relationship, providing that same confusion and repetitive nightmare that seem to plague our protagonist.

Animation wise, this was as simple as it can get, resembling at points like how South Park gets animated in 2D-puppet-like glory, though it required some getting used to for its less than anatomically correct human characters. And for a tale to find itself firmly rooted to the midnight screening, it boiled down to that energetic pace during the finale and the twist that it offered up which was as open as it could get, besides the more adult content that had full blown elements of pedophilia.

I suspect that there were a few funny moments that could have been lost in translation, but no matter, I believe this film has enough legs to see it make more rounds in the festival circuit. Now if I could get someone to look into my ear canal...

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