Directed by Oh-Kwang Kwon
Park Goo (Lee Kwang-Soo) mutates into a man-fish due to side effects from an experimental drug. He receives heavy publicity and becomes a star. A conspiracy by a pharmaceutical company leads Park Goo to being possibly expelled from the world.
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★★★½ review by Smitty 🌟 on Letterboxd
Is this how Guillermo Del Toro got the idea for Shape of Water?
★★★★ review by Joana Lou on Letterboxd
You can't be a fish in a shark based society... or can you?
★★★★ review by Bon Morrison on Letterboxd
Very funny from the get-go but quickly takes a darker, more serious tone as the film goes on (with humor spursed in every now and then still). A critical satire on government, corruption, human rights, and even religion - the film pulls no punches in it's subtlety on how it wants to address these issues. While some may find the satire a bit too obvious, I thought it was very well done. Had some issues with the ending as it dragged on a bit but overall this was a great, well-acted, and intelligently-written film that is equal parts funny and smart.
★★★½ review by Chris on Letterboxd
Arguably the best movie about a fishman I have ever seen.
The Incredible Mr. Limpet now drops to second.
★★★★★ review by Wes on Letterboxd
I feel like the only person who actually enjoyed this film. Let me explain - I'm a huge Lee Kwang Soo fan, and have enjoyed his other roles, so I decided to watch this movie as well. I love eclectic films, and so the idea of a fishman character was just begging to be watched.
The reason I loved this film was that it's not actually about the fishman, per se. It's not necessarily his story, but rather, the story of how industry, and essentially capitalism, uses and manipulates the ordinary man for its own gain.
You have the medical field, represented by a shady medical corporation, headed by a doctor willing to do anything in order to achieve his goal of ending world hunger, which he almost does, if it's not for the marketing industry, which takes his miracle drug/food (from which the fishman was an unfortunate mutant side effect from) and prices it so high it becomes a luxury rather than the life saving product it was meant to be. You have the media, which sensationalizes and then demonizes the fishman, shaped by both public interest and who is buying out the story. You have a lawyer who's reported to be a human rights activist yet is ultimately swayed by whoever lines his pockets. And caught in the middle is the fishman himself, trying to figure out how to live his life between his father's demands, his (girl?)friend using him for fame and money, and the man pretending to be filming a documentary in order to obtain a long desired position as a news reporter.
Ultimately, this is not a movie about a fishman, but a movie about the corruption of industry for profit and how the Average Joe(TM) suffers because of it. Sure, there may be other ways to tell this story that doesn't involve a fishman, but it's doubtful that they'll be as engaging or as a beautifully shot as Collective Invention.
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