M (2007)

Korean title: 엠 (Em)
Directed by: Lee Myeong-se

What’s popping:

Be warned, this is one really quirky thriller. It doesn’t unfold conventionally and may just turn off the average moviegoer.

After sitting through all the twists and turns, there was no “light bulb” moment for me. In short, after watching the film, I still can’t quite understand what the heck happened.

What made me sit through it? The charismatic lead Kang Dong-won. Before this, I have not seen any of his works, but one thing’s for sure, his screen presence compelled me to finish this at times meandering movie.

Kang plays a novelist named Minwoo who’s working on a follow-up novel to his recent bestseller. However, things aren’t going well – he’s plagued by nightmares, hallucinations and feels that he’s being followed.

The Doctor perscribes him Prozac and all hell breaks loose. Well, that is to say viewers are taken for a ride in his extremely convoluted mind where there’s no separation between fantasy and reality.

Consultation: ‘What did you just say Doc? How many times
in a day
do I take it?’

Very much like Minwoo, viewers will be wondering whether what happens is only a dream or reality. In all the confusion, there are some things that are real.

A sweet young lady named Mimi (Lee Yeon-hee) who has a crush on our tortured protagonist and his worried girlfriend (Kong Hyo-jin). Oh, and then there’s that bar called Lupin, which probably is only a figment of our protagonists’ imagination.

Yes, it is quite a chore keeping up with the pil-popping Minwoo. All that Prozac probably caused his condition. Also, the issue with his first love doesn’t quite anchor the film as it should.

Director Lee Myeong-se immerses the movie in an aura of mystery with dark and sombre sets, as well as quirky details.

Lonely: Minwoo (Kang) drowns his sorrows in wine.

Take for instance that time when Minwoo was having lunch in a private room with a publisher. A table/portable fan was switched on and when the oscillating fan was directly pointed at the person who was speaking, his speech was “chopped up” by the blowing wind.

M is a head-scratching flick and after finishing the movie, my only comment when Orchid asked me how the movie was was “Weird”.

The plot:

A novelist who is working on a deadline suffers from paranoid delusions. Why is that girl following him around? Why does the smoke-filled Lupin bar only appear at night? Is his repressed memories getting the better of him or did the Doctor give him the wrong perscription?

Who’s that girl?: Is Mimi (Lee) real
or imagined?

Watch it:

The DVD was just lying around at home (cue Twilight Zone music…no, I’m not on Prozac). Don’t know who lent it to us :-P.

Purchase the movie here

Pics credit: HanCinema