“Amélie in a mental institution,” Marcy quipped as we walked out of the Kulturbrauerei in Berlin, where Park Chan-Wooks latest played as part of the Fantasy Filmfest. As usual, she had a point: at the center of I’m a Cyborg is an adorable waif (Lim Su-jeong) who insists on seeing the world in her own peculiar way and is surrounded by a quirky cast of lovable supporting characters.
The filmmaking, as you’d expect from the director of Oldboy, is muscular and inventive. But unlike Jeunet’s unbearably cute Amélie, Cha Young-goon has to face some all-too-real pain. The girl believes herself to be a cyborg (“You know, kind of like a robot”) and is sent to the mental ward after trying to “recharge her batteries” in a way that reads to the rest of the world as a suicide attempt.
Saibogujiman kwenchana. Park Chan-wook, 2006. ***