JUNG_E, Review – Netflix’s South Korean “I, Robot”.

Exited on Netflix last January 22, JUNG_E is the new film by the Korean director Yeon Sang-hoformer director of the series Hell bound and one of the most successful zombie movies of the last twenty years, the popular Train to Busan (2016). The undisputed star of the film is the actress Kang Soo-yeonwho tragically passed away due to a brain hemorrhage just a few months after filming ended.

JUNG_E is a science fiction film, set in a dystopian future not too far from our current present. The main intent of the film is to investigate the complex relationship that inextricably binds man to technology – especially the creation of synthetic beings – according to a process that is halfway between cloning and advanced robotics, with all the problems ethics And morals that this could entail. The result is a fascinating marriage of replicant hunting by Blade Runner and the fight against the rebel machines of the ego, Asimoviano Robot, with a science fiction reality that seems to merge on more than one occasion with a virtual simulation.

A future dominated by “replicants”

Year 2135. The planet Earth has reached the final climate collapseprompting large parts of humanity to relocate within some satellites built between Earth’s orbit and the Moon. After a while weatherHowever, some of these new “states” proclaimed their independence naming themselves the Adrian Republic, consequently declaring war on the remaining satellites. It is the beginning of a long and bloody series of conflicts, during which one soldier in particular rises above the others thanks to his deeds: it is the courageous Yun Jung-yiacclaimed by the people as a true heroine.

Hopelessly injured during an important mission, she is placed in a program of brain preservationin which his memories and his personality are preserved by Kronoid, scientific division of the allied army, so that his body can be recreated synthetically to fight again. After many years, Jung-yi’s daughter, Yun Seo-hyunis leading the operation tasked with recreating the perfect soldier, JUNG_Ethrough the use of his mother’s memory.


JUNG_Ebetween ethics and progress

Paradoxically the component actionalthough present in a large part of the film, takes a back seat to an in-depth analysis that exists between the use of a technology increasingly advanced and the moral drama which follows.

No more deadly diseases, no more tragedies caused by wars or natural disasters: the possibility of preserving one’s conscience and inserting it into an easily recreated synthetic clone is the solution to obtain immortality, eternal youth. Yet, in a world where the rift between rich And poor it has become incurable, only a select few can afford the expenses necessary to perform the operation; all the others, to avoid dying and being forgotten, are forced to donate their bodies to science, thus allowing society, corrupted by capitalism and the constant search for profit, to exploit it freely the image and the I remember.


A gaming reality

JUNG_E is a work that works for subtractionfocusing on the mother-daughter relationship and the ethical dilemma introduced by the cloning of artificial human beings, thus reducing the amazing space battles to a mere pretext, almost an afterimage hovering against the background of a virtual world. The attempt is precisely to restore a surreal atmosphere, almost video gamethanks to an excessive and cumbersome use of the CGI (computer-generated imagery), which even transforms the characters in the story into flat automatons, superficialdevoid of any emotion or empathy towards others.

If everything is emphasized by methodical and from coldness of the robotic clones, the only exception is represented by the protagonist Seo-hyunwhich maintains a glimmer of humanity within an aseptic and at the same time pragmatic and opportunist world. The work of the late Kang Soo-yeon expresses itself and develops inwardlyrevealing only great ache And resignation against a society in which he no longer has any hope.

In this sense the ending is decisive: JUNG_E finally achieves that freedom longed for by her daughter Seo-hyun – first blocked by illness and later by a sense of guilt towards her mother – with an escape to a world free from any control, exactly like the Jake Gyllenhaal Of Source Code (2011). A return to wilderness which ends like this, with an inscrutable gaze towards the infinite horizon, like the traveler on the sea of ​​fog painted by Caspar David Friedrich.

JUNG_E, Review – Netflix’s South Korean “I, Robot”.