Fantasia 2012: ‘Doomsday Book’ does not fully come to together
Directed by Kim Jee-woon and Yim Pil-sung
Written by Kim Jee-woon and Yim Pil-sung
South Korea, 2012
How often do anthology films fully come together, with each part perfectly complimenting one another? The answer, despite however many times filmmakers attempt to construct them, is rarely. In fairness, the degree of difficult involved is high, with the creative teams having to come up with not one but multiple storylines, the themes and plot of which, as a requirement, must come together to form a whole, single cohesive project. Directors and screenwriters Kim Jee-woon and Yim Pil-sung make their challenge even taller by adopting as the overarching theme of their collaboration, Doomsday Book, the end of the world. Admirable as the challenge may be, it is the results which matter most. So how did they fair?
Doomsday Book is sliced into three separate chapters, the first and third directed by Yim Pil-sung (who was kind enough to make the trip to the festival for the screening), with his compatriot Kim taking charge of the middle story. It opens with A Brave New World in which a young hopeful scientist (Ryu Seung-beom) house sits while his family is away. Little does he realize while taking out the garbage that the apple he tosses into the bag with all the other waste is startlingly unhealthy looking. The apple travels to the waste disposal plant, is tossed around here and there, and before anyone knows it, an infection begins to spread, turning people into flesh eating zombies, including the protagonist and the cute girl he takes on a date (Go Joon-hee).