Along with horror, science fiction and fantasy films often find themselves unfairly maligned. What so many fail to understand is that genre film-making is not just (normally) a case of killer robots, zombies or dark elves. These fantastical scenarios are often used as a way of making a serious point. Wrapping a social issue within an entertaining story or setting a drama within an unusual context. Ok-seop Yi feature debut, Maggie, covers several issues through a rather unusual lens.
When a tryst in the radiography suite leads to a rather incriminating evidence at Love of Maria hospital in Seoul, a young nurse finds herself in turmoil. Yoo-young (Lee Joo-young) believes she and her slacker boyfriend are the subject of the offending x-ray. Dr Lee (Moon So-ri) is determined to get to the bottom of it but when every member of staff apart from Yoo-young calls in sick it’s clear that she’s not the only one with a guilty conscience. Strange sinkholes, a talking catfish and bizarre admissions complicate matters.
Maggie is an unorthodox and often confusing whirl of seemingly random occurrences and characters. However, as you dig deeper, you discover several mini and inter-connected dramas playing out below the surface. It’s rather haphazard at times and the central relationship drama can get lost in the noise. However, something rather wonderful kind of clicks. An oddball bonhomie. Maggie is a bold, brash and bedazzling debut which marks Yi down as someone to keep an eye on.
Maggie screens again at Fantasia Festival 2019 on 18 July.