June 17, 2013

Castaway on the Moon

Hey-jun Lee, 2009

Kim has hit rock bottom. With accumulating debt and a recent breakup, he feels he has nothing to live for. He decides to end it all, and jumps off of a bridge into the Han River. He wakes up on the shores of an island, wet and confused. He's not even sure if he's alive, or in some form of an afterlife. 

Castaway on the Moon maintains more of an imaginative, dream-like tone than Robert Zemeckis' Cast Away (2000, Tom Hanks). Initially, you sit in doubt as to whether or not Kim is alive, dead, or in some alternate dimension where sits as a lone observer of the lively city in front of him. He's left with no resources other than what washes ashore on the island. He's left to his wits, which he admits actually makes him smarter. While he labors on the island to survive and keep himself busy, he doesn't realize that a bedroom-dwelling hermit is observing his activities via camera. He gives her a new-found passion, a curiosity for what's outside her bedroom door. She hides her face from an mysterious incident from years past. Her grocery list is sent via text to her mother who nervously places it outside her bedroom door. Each day passes, and the garbage bags pile up in her room. Kim needs to hit his rock bottom to see the beauty in life, and that beauty resides in the small things. He creates his own universe, far removed from credit card debt. Far removed from dead-end relationships. Far removed from courtesy callers. His duck-boat home feels welcoming. In the end its rewarding for everyone involved. 

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