Who is good and who is evil? What is the boundary between them? An animated thriller about the tension between a good-hearted person speaking falsely and an evil-natured person speaking truthfully, and of those that surround them.
1 sentence review: If you don't like dark stories and heavy theme, and cannot handle being frustrated while story develops, you will not like this movie.
Similar to Sangho Yeon's last movie, Dwaejiui Wang, Saibi depicts a darker part of the society, such as religious cults, swindlers, alcohol abuse, and domestic violence. Throughout the movie, the viewers are left to ponder about what is right and what is wrong, and may be very frustrated by how there is not a single character that truly acts on "justice". I will leave to to the viewers to decide what director Yeon was trying to communicate in this movie,
but I think he did an excellent job.
The art and sound isn't outstanding, but it does not inhibit the overall presentation of the movie. Most of the animation is 3D, which some of us may not like, and there wasn't really a soundtrack that stood out. As far as I can recall, the soundtrack was quite minimalistic of it existed at all, but this actually helps in depicting the cold reality of this movie; there is no soundtrack in real life lol.
The character in combination with the plot was simply great. At least that's my opinion. If I explain why, it will be a spoiler, so I won't talk about it in two much detail. There are two main protagonists of this story. One is an alcoholic father who abuses his daughter and his wife whenever he comes home. Another is a priest who leads a rundown church in the village which is about to be filled up with water due to a dam project. There are multiple conflicts that involves those two protagonists, and they all come together and reach an unexpected conclusion.
I ran out of energy so ill just end my review here. If you're fine with dark heavy story, I recommend it.
Saibi is a movie about how horrible life can be and how horrible some people can become. It focuses heavily on the ideas of right and wrong and how far do you go to represent your opinion. Would you even destroy happiness of others to do so?
The story takes place in a poor village in South Korean. In this village is a small Christian church where many of the villagers go, to pray and hope for a better afterlife. You as the audience focus the conflict between the main protagonist and this church. The main protagonist is for me the most unlikeable character of
all. He is a aggressive alcoholic who beats up his daughter and his wife as often as he can while insulting everyone who he is speaking to. The movie sadly doesn’t go into any detail why he ends up being such an asshole, it gives you hardly any background information to any of the characters overall.
Saibi is a very depressing movie. It won’t give any happy moments or a fulfilling feeling. The characters that you root for won’t get their happy ending.
I am not the biggest fan of letting my cheers for the likeable characters getting crushed but this movie creates such a big impact because it is just like a very sad story about the real life and I guess that’s the movies biggest advantage… its proximity to reality. Of course there are some scenes where you ask yourselfe “what?”, or “how?”, but basically the movie resembles a shitty life in some poor south Korean village, as close as you can imagine it. (as a person not living there and only hearing stories)
The reason I gave this movie a 7 was because I didn’t enjoy this movie that much. It has a very slow start and the first half was for me rather boring. I first really started to like this movie after the ending, when I looked back at it and put aside all my subjective feelings about what I wanted to see and how the movie should have been.
The artstyle is probably the point why I thought this movie was boring. In such a depressing reality near movie it is very important to have an atmosphere to engage the audience to the story. The Soundtrack was fine and accomplished that, but the visuals just kept pushing you away from the atmosphere with its shitty cgi looks. I have to say that I have seen worse cgi in anime, but I just can repeat myself by saying that cgi in anime looks just terrible nearly every time.
So overall Saibi is a very depressive movie and definitely not for people who like happy endings. It has a sad atmosphere to it which sadly cannot grip you that much because of its terrible visuals. But despite all its flaws Saibi will definitely be a movie you won’t forget so quickly after finishing it.
Saibi, or "The Fake", is an independent, Korean film that tells a tale of hardship in life and where religion fits into the picture. It wouldn't be a stretch to call this movie offensive, as most people might end up seeing it that way with its harsh language and harsh treatment towards its characters. Watching the movie, you can tell the audience it's directed at is very particular. There could be one powerful aspect of this movie, out of a laundry-list of them, that might make you want to drop it a short ways in. This movie requires patience, attention, and most surely tolerance.
is certainly animated, yet all the way through it is difficult to tell if that animation is 2D or 3D. Even upon completing it, I can't tell for certain if it's all one way or not. What gave me the impression that the animation was 3D was the very stable proportions the characters carried, along with many nearly robotic movements they had throughout the film. Even with that taken into account, there were many times where the characters felt as if they were literally animated in 2D, just with very good attention to proportions. I'm not one who would complain much about cgi in animated material if it's done well, and I felt that the cgi was done very well in this movie. However, the animation style in general felt strange with periodic jolts for movement along with some lacking facial expressions and animations. Beyond the characters, the background art is unquestionably hand-drawn throughout the entire film and there is a lot of detail to be seen in those backgrounds.
The music in "The Fake" is barely there to note. There's the spare music track every twenty-or-so minutes, but none of them are done well enough to recall. The sound effects are decent, but there are periods where it feels as if the entire atmosphere isn't being presented adequately. Overall, the music does the bare essentials of what I feel it needed to do and didn't make any attempts to go much beyond that, but that isn't to say it even intended to. The director may have felt this was the way he should go about with the style of this movie.
Speaking onto that style, the movie is very dialogue heavy, and the animation style being there at all times lends is a somewhat menacing atmosphere. The characters all move visually in slightly off ways, possibly not intentional, but that does add to the dark side of the story. The dialogue is filled with curse words and the main character is one of the heaviest cursers I've witnessed in any form of film. He will find a way to insert a curse word into every other sentence, and not only he is the one who talks in this manner. While the main character is surely the worst in that regard, a few other characters will curse plenty along with him.
Bad words isn't the only thing an innocent viewer might worry about. There are plenty of beatings in "The Fake", most between interactions involving the main character. Even that doesn't conclude what people might consider offensive. "The Fake" has a strong opinion on the place of religion in people's lives, while also including the degradation of the mentally challenged and side topics of near-pedophilia. However, the religious aspect is without a doubt what takes the front seat out of these. The story revolves around a group of depressed and anxious people who are all signing up for a hidden Church a ways out of town. Without digging deeper into the place of the Church in the story, the people are the focal point of examination here. These people face hardships and turn to religion to justify their hardships. The story looks onto these people with a negative perspective, being the main character. He himself isn't either an intellectual or an upstanding citizen, but he sees these people migrating in this fashion and reacts towards it in a way that is controversial yet understandable.
The movie is very focused on dialogue and character interactions, with but a risky visual design and a sparse soundtrack backing things up on the budget side of things. The directing is done well for the most part, yet those of the western audiences may notice some peculiar directing of dramatic scenes which I would compare to Nicolas Refn's work in the live-action movie "Only God Forgives". Directing isn't essentially a key element required in a dialogue-heavy movie as I see directing as an equal factor in just about every visual medium, so what is mainly left to weigh beyond that is the writing and the concreteness and imagination of the story itself, along with hopefully some depth. The character interactions in "The Fake" were adequate, although many of the characters tended to act in ways that could define them with a quirk. The main character, for example, is forcefully rude for much of the movie, and it never really feels justified or reasonable to the extent he goes with it. The police in the story also tend to act laid-back and weak, almost throwing out a catch-phrase whenever they scratch their heads as they fail to enforce authority. This could just be their personalities, but all of these personalities feel a bit off, and not in an artistic way. While the story does have depth in meanings and interpretations, the overall plot itself isn't incredibly imaginative or complex.
Saibi ("The Fake") is a dark tale by the perspective it takes on topics that are controversial, the brutality it presents, and through the way the movie is set in motion and directed. It is unclear of what the director's intentions were in the visuals and the sounds and if there was limitations in place, but this finished product of the movie creates a desolate and menacing atmosphere in the way it presents itself alone. The director directs the drama that ensues in almost jump-scarey ways by creating these robotic visualizations of its characters, carrying limited facial expression, and randomly exerting them with passionate and furious intent when the time is needed for it. The style is unique for both live-action and animated films. If you can tolerate something that acts in ways you wouldn't normally condone, while also accepting a style that not many visual entertainment carry alongside it, then I would recommend "The Fake" for the experience and for some interesting perspective. To watch this and enjoy it, at least to some extent, you will be expected to be more accepting and willing for variety - that variety in "The Fake" being seen visually and in its storytelling.