May 31, 2008

Natural City: Cyborgs With Alzheimers

Let's say a car lasts ten years and a computer lasts three. Based on the idea that the more advanced the machinery, the shorter its lifespan, how long do you think a dancing hooker-robot would last? If your answer is not long enough, you're probably already a resident of the cyberpunk Natural City. When Ria (Seo Rin), a replicant starts to go on the blink, her patron-lover goes to every extreme to keep her alive. A member of the military police, R (Yu Ji-tae) sacrifices fellow members of the force, jeopardizes the life of his best friend, and kidnaps a prostitute as he works towards one insidious goal: to implant his machine-whore's consciousness into the brain of that unlucky streetwalker (Lee Jae-un). Writer-director Min Byung-chun takes the man-automaton romance pretty seriously which doesn't seem so far-fetched considering that until very recently, women were considered property in marriage. Since a robot could be programmed to "love and obey" without a lot of back talk, it's hard not to admit that plenty of guys would jump at the chance to set up house with a remote control bitch. Natural City is a call to read the small print on the warranty label. Don't grow too attached to your purchases!

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