Tuesday, September 9, 2008
When it comes to sub-titled films, I can generally take them or leave them. One of the hardest thing about watching a movie with subtitles is that you sometimes get so wrapped up in reading that you miss visual imagery or other important visual cues in the film. Natural City is full of visual imagery, and I had quite a time keeping up with the film. However, in spite of the subtitles, I am glad I took the time to watch this film. It was a stunning contribution to the Science Fiction genre.
This movie was touted as the Korean Blade Runner. I could definitely see the heavy influence of Blade Runner in this film, but I also felt there were currents of The Matrix in this movie, as well. That is probably a logical conclusion considering the martial arts scenes in The Matrix which you would expect to find in a film coming out of South Korea. There were also a few scenes done in slow motion, with body contorting special effects (to both dodge ammunition as well as to retrieve a firearm).
This film revolves around the concept of cyborg and human interaction in the future. The idea of humans falling in love with dolls isn't new, but Natural City does the concept justice. The lead character was R was fairly well developed as a character. Rather than being a super hero mold good guy, he has some real issues. First of all he is a heavy drinker (and smoker). He doesn't always kowtow to authority and he is in love with a dying cyborg. He compromises his position on the government security forces to try and find a way to save his true love. His boss, Noma and he were once good friends, but Noma spends most of his effort simply protecting R. The friendship is very strained and moves even further apart before events at the end of the movie somewhat reconcile their situation. R finds that he has been played the pawn and the movie delivers a less than happy ending.
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