Motel Cactus consists of four episodes, all of which take place in Room 407 of Motel Cactus, a love hotel in Seoul: (1.) A girl celebrates her birthday with her boyfriend, because it is the... See full summary »
The disconnections of urban life. Yun-ju is diffident, almost without affect; his wife is pregnant, and he's wonders if he should bribe the dean to secure a professorship. He's also bothered by a yapping dog that disturbs him in the large block of flats where he lives. Hyeon-nam is equally disengaged; she's a bookkeeper at same block of flats, animated only when she learns of a lost dog. Over the course of a few weeks, three dogs in the building go missing - Yun-ju and Hyeon-nam have a connection to each. So might a janitor. Is it a man-eat-dog world? Is there any cure for this ennui? Can anyone connect?Written by
Flandersui gae a/k/a Barking Dogs Never Bite (BONG Joon-ho, 2000)
Perhaps the funniest movies I've seen since "Monty Python and the Holy Grail". The first thing one sees in this film, before even the credits is the reassurance "No animals were harmed in making this film" -- and the warning is needed -- at least for dog lovers or overly-sensitive souls.
The movie tells the tale of a would-be professor (LEE Sung-jae), currently laid off until he can bribe his way into a permanent appointment, who grows increasingly fed up about yippy dogs in his rather down-scale apartment mega-complex. He decides to "do something about this" -- which leads to a chain of increasingly disastrous events. THEN, his soon-to-deliver spouse buys a poodle of her own -- which he proceeds to lose. While desperately searching for his wife's dog, he runs across a helper (BAE Doo-na) -- who is looking for the culprit who has caused other neighborhood dogs to disappear.
Despite my vast affection for dogs, the "robust" dog-related humor of this film was nonetheless hilarious. The performances of both leads are first-rate (and I would rate BAE Doo-na's gifts as a physical comedian as being in the league of Lucille Ball). Even so, BYUN Hee-bong, a janitor with a very "special" affection for dogs (at least for one specific purpose), practically steals the show. Indeed, at one point he literally STOPS the show -- as he takes five or so minutes to recount (leisurely) the tale of a ghostly master boiler repairman.
The direction and cinematography are as superb as the comic acting and story and dialog. Surprisingly, the film ends on a morally uplifting (non-sappy, non-hackneyed) note -- as forgiveness is delivered with a lost shoe. If I gave ratings, this would get a 10+.
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