In-mi (played by Sung Hye-min) is portrayed straightaway as being a bit of a sexpot. Much of the opening just shows her dancing for our amusement on a fabulous yacht. Well, technically, she's dancing for her rich husband Tae-yeong (played by Jang Tae-young) who can't even bring himself to pretend to care. The frustrated In-mi can then be seen wearing a garish bikini under a black trenchcoat in high heels, power-walking her way to a fairly logical request at the mental plastic surgery clinic. She needs more elegance.
The first episode of "AI, Her" is superb visual storytelling. Save for the sequence where In-mi explains what she wants to the relevant company representative there's little to no dialog. Who In-mi is as a character is seen entirely via the swagger in her step. Post surgery we see a noticeable change just in the way In-mi walks and carries herself. It's not even necessarily an improvement. In a weirdly persuasive riff that compares nicely to the physical plastic surgery of the present day, a lot of the benefits In-mi enjoys in her testimonial aren't exactly intuitive.
"AI, Her" presents a very plausible financial transaction among the wealthy in a future world that looks slicker yet lonelier than our own. There's no risk of the world ending in general, or even In-mi's. There's just a profound sense of alienation that is, in the short term, convincingly solved, at least for In-mi. The long-term? Who knows- the next episode will be about a completely different kind of client after all.
Written by William Schwartz
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via email@example.com. He also has a substack at williamschwartz.substack.com where he discusses the South Korean film industry in broader terms and takes suggestions for future movies to review.
"[HanCinema's Film Review] "AI, Her" Segment 1 'Mental Plastic Surgery' + Video"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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