To Chinese restaurant delivery boy 'Ju', the only joy in life is spending time at the electronic game room. One day, 'Ju' who was engrossed in an electronic game as usual, is advised to ... See full summary »
To Chinese restaurant delivery boy 'Ju', the only joy in life is spending time at the electronic game room. One day, 'Ju' who was engrossed in an electronic game as usual, is advised to log-on to a game called RESURRECTION OF THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL. The match selling girl of Andersen's fairytale is revived through the game, and 'Ju' is drawn into the little girl's virtual reality. As reality and cyberspace interchange, 'Ju', like in the famous fairytale, is given the mission to save the little girl from danger and lead her to a peaceful death. However, the two are not only confronted by a gigantic force called the System, that attempts to stop them, but other obstacles that place their lives in danger... Written by
One of the songs played in the movie is called "Dreams Come True", by Korean trio S.E.S. The music was originally from a song by Finnish duo Nylon Beat, titled "Rakastuin Mä Luuseriin", but SMTown (S.E.S record company) took it (most likely without crediting Nylon Beat) and made "Dreams Come True" back in 1998. "Dreams Come True" is pretty much a modern classic in Korea. See more »
Visually enticing, maddeningly vague and bound to be a cult classic
RESURRECTION OF THE LITTLE MATCHGIRL (2002), an ambitious cyber-punk actioner from the director of 2000's LIES and 1996's A PETAL. It's one of the few Korean films I've seen that has polarized audiences as much as it has. An expensive failure upon its first release, the film has, with a couple of repeat viewings on DVD, started to grow on me, not that I didn't like it in the first place.
The narrative has a socially disaffected gamer attempting to make the title game character fall in love with him before she dies while fending off an array of well-armed oddballs. Eventually though, she rebels against the system with a Great Big Gun. There's a tricky blur between real world and game world in this often maddeningly vague film, and I'm still not sure I've read all the director's messages correctly, or if he even makes them at all, but the visuals are so enticing, the action so deliberately overblown, and the philosophy so seemingly just out of reach, it's tough to stop watching (and watching again). I suspect that this film will develop a strong cult following in the years to come, with even many of those who absolutely hated it re-approaching it from different angles and perhaps finding new meaning in it.
Despite it's Korean setting and cast, it's probably the least Korean-feeling Korean film I've yet seen, generally eschewing themes of identity and patriotism as well as the maudlin melodramatics so often found in Korean cinema. Somehow, I suspect that was all intentional. Unfortunately, the Korean DVD of this title had no English subs, so most people who've seen it subbed have had to spring for the bootleg. I give it an 8.
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