“Now who will save the earth?”
Have you ever had expectations about a film, and not watched it because of these misconceptions?
A few years ago, I saw the poster for “Save the Green Planet” and completely ignored it as I thought it just looked like the kind of wacky Asian comedy that I did not think I would enjoy.
So when a friend told me a couple of weeks ago that I had missed one of the greatest Korean Movies of all time, then I felt obligated to try it out.
Don’t I feel like a fool now.
This is one of the most inventive films I have ever seen. Yes it is part Comedy. Part Sci-Fi. Part Thriller. Part Horror. Part Heart-breaker.
The movie starts like a Korean David Icke presentation, with talk about aliens taking down the planet. The usual conspiracy what-not. A rather comic kidnapping occurs, and then we slip into the guts of the film. A disturbed young man, Lee Byeong-gu (the fabulous Shin Ha-Kyun) has suffered a number of personal catastrophes and has slipped into world of paranoia where he believes aliens are taking over the world. Assisted by the equally disturbed Su-ni, the film centres around some quite graphic torture of the suspected alien/Businessman. In the background a police investigation is taking place, with an almost Columbo-esque disgraced detective taking the lead.
Wacky hi-jinks, as they say, ensue.
One of the wonderful parts of this movie is that so many characters are red-herring, they join the movie and leave unexpectedly. And the fact that only sympathetic character is actually a deranged serial killer is just masterful.
The camera is always on the move (and usually in your face), and the tension NEVER lets up. It has a really gritty realistic feel, and I am astonished to find that the director Jang Joon-Hwan has only made this film. What a waste of talent. But then how do you top this? I always feel I only have one story inside of me, so maybe he feels the same.
There is a bit of social commentary going on here also, about South Korea’s industrialisation and the treatment of the little people who support this – but it never ever seems forced, just another layer to enjoy.
You will nee a strong stomach to watch this. But please try and fortify yourself and enjoy a wonderful piece of cinema.