The film takes place mostly in a mental institution filled with an eclectic menagerie of patients. Young-goon, a young woman working in a factory constructing radios and who believes herself to be a cyborg, is institutionalized after cutting her wrist and connecting it with a power cord to a wall outlet in an attempt to “recharge” herself, an act that is interpreted as a suicide attempt. Her delusion is characterized by refusing to eat (she instead licks batteries and attempts to administer electric shocks to herself), conversing almost solely with machines and electrical appliances and obsessively listening to her tube radio at night for instruction on how to become a better cyborg. Her apathetic mother is interviewed by the institute’s head doctor, to determine the roots of Young-goon’s psychosis; despite claiming ignorance of her daughter’s delusion (it is later learnt she knew but was too busy to make her seek help), she reveals that Young-goon’s mentally ill grandmother had previously been institutionalized for delusions of being a mouse, a trauma that sparks Young-goon’s own lapses from reality. As a result, she frequently fantasizes of finding her grandmother and seeking revenge on the “men in white” who took her away.
IMDB Rate: 7.1
Director: Park Chan-wook
Writer: Jeong Seo-kyeong, Park Chan-wook