Castaway On The Moon is a brilliant new take on the ‘castaway’ theme.
Imagine your life is in the dumps. I don’t mean that you broke a nail or your dog ran away; I mean you lost all of your money, you’re in foreclosure, and everything else in your life is simply going all down the tube. Some people step up and deal with it vis-à-vis, others jump off bridges to put a quick end to the suffering.
In the case of Castaway On The Moon, the protagonist takes the latter action, and after inadvertently surviving, washes up on the beach of an island in the Han River. The island is sandwiched between two sides of the great metropolis of Seoul, yet he is seemingly all alone and unable to leave due to his inability to attract serious attention, and his inability to swim. He accepts his fate and begins living like a primitive man.
An isolated girl, who rarely leaves her room, uses her telescope one night to look at the moon when she notices the man on the island. She quickly takes interest in the man, and sneaks out of the apartment complex at night and throws him a message in a bottle, which reads simply “hello” in English. This is a response to his letters on the beach which previously said “help” but was later changed to “hello” as he became more comfortable with living on the island. A long distance romance begins to brew between the two and they even have their long distance arguments.
Eventually the man is discovered and he is forced to leave, the girl has little time to react but is saved by the bell so to speak. Though I won’t go into further detail I will say I enjoyed the fresh new take on the castaway theme. Sure, there were elements of other castaway stories, such as the book The Cay, or the film Castaway. The main point I think the director wanted to drive home was that people are feeling ever more crushed by their daily lives, technological society, and the hundreds of petty, yet synergically overwhelming obligations. The entire plot is a metaphor for the increasing isolation that people are feeling in societies ever-growing superficiality.
The female lead seemed to be a compliment to the protagonist, and without her the film would really have been empty. The director never explained why the girl was so afraid to leave her room, which was littered with boxes, and bubble wrap, however there is some indication that it may have to do with a scar on the side of her face.
This film was one of the better Korean films I have seen in a long time and I recommend you watch it.