To You, From Me is either on the cutting edge, or on the nose. It all depends on how you see it but see it you must. The sharp social satire of Chang Sun-Woo's profane succes de scandale and Seoul box office smash somehow captures the postmodern 90s—failure of tradition, final collapse of the counter-culture, triumphant but empty consumerism, and the search for new hope.
Exposed as a plagiarist, the anti-hero drinks, and writes violently sexist porn. His only friend, a bored bank clerk even tries smoking dried banana skins to get high. Then a woman out of his fantasies turns up determined to save him. Is she for real? And should we like him or loathe him? There's no time to figure it out, as the characters lurch helter-skelter from one scam to the next through what the Koreans call their 'hurry hurry' boom culture.
To You, From Me was adapted from a novel by Chang Jeong-Il, whose previous works include Contemplation of a Hamburger. "The characters are untroubled by conscience or emotion," says Chang Sun-Woo of his self-proclaimed 'trash film' "It is full of fraud, cheating and perversion. The establishment will no doubt find the result embarrassing and disgusting. For me, I see the woman character a sturdy carp fighting her way upstream through muddy waters. She is sensual, self-aware and intellectually ascetic.