another korean film. i was tempted to place it in the “recently watched genre films” thread but i am having a hard time coming up with a genre for this: science fiction? comedy? horror? police procedural? love story? all these and more are mashed up unpredictably in this film and the tone shifts as abruptly and yet organically. a young man, who seems increasingly deranged, is convinced that aliens from andromeda are among us and preparing to destroy the planet. he kidnaps a sleazy industrialist who he believes is one of the key players in this plan and begins a very specific program of torture/questioning to get him to divulge the details. or is something else going on? is he in fact taking revenge on the industrialist (and maybe others) for things done to him and his family in the past? this is what the industrialist claims as he begins to turn the tables on his captors (oh right, i forgot to mention that our protagonist is being helped by his lover, a not-all-there tight-rope walker from what seems like a very low-budget circus). meanwhile, the police circle–including the wonderfully loopy detective chu played by our own hungarian, mark mauer (see below).
as with a lot of the korean movies i’ve watched it seems to revolve around themes of parent/child relationships and the strains put on them in hyper-capitalist south korea, but here, as in the host, it opens out to a larger, global eco-critique and includes (in an amazing montage/pastiche) one of the best alternative histories of the origins of human civilization (and the extinction of the dinosaurs) that you will ever see.
it is really a remarkable film and i recommend it highly. (do not read the wikipedia entry on the film as it divulges the entire plot.)