Mad Sad Bad is a 3D omnibus with three segments - "Ghost", "Saw You" and "Picnic" - are directed by Ryoo Seung-Wan, Han Ji-Seung and Kim Tae-Yong. "Ghost" - Based on a true murder case. On April 30, 2013, a university student is killed by a group of teens. "Saw You" - A zombie epidemic transforms humans into zombies. Advancement in science and medicine allows humans and cured zombies to live together. Medicine taken by those cured rids them of memories when they were zombies. The cured zombies, however, live like slaves. "Picnic" - Soo-Min is an 8-year-old girl who lives with her mother and her 6-year-old autistic brother Dong-Min. One day, Soo-Min makes a big decision. She decides to take her brother for a picnic, leaving him behind to fend for himself.
Cast & Credits
With that out of the way, I really enjoyed this movie. The three parts are very, very different from one another. I can see that putting some viewers off, but as I liked all three, it didn't bother me in the least that there was absolutely nothing whatsoever tying these things together (the only theme would have been 3D, but alas...) So part 1 (Ghost, or "Mad", if you prefer, haha) is gritty and realistic, part 2 is...insane, really. A total genre mishmash, but in a good way. Part 3 is fantasy, set in the "real" world.
Ghost is horrifying, and not in the way the title might lead you to believe. It's based on a real murder case, and the script and acting make something rather unbelievable on paper come to life in an all too believable way. I cannot believe such a thing really happened, but then...I can absolutely believe that it did. My main criticisms are that it ends rather abruptly and feels a little underdeveloped.
Story-wise, part 2 (I Saw You) is really imaginative (zombies can take medication to control the symptoms; social commentary and classism ensue), although the romantic backstory fell a little flat for me. It's by far the funniest of the three parts, however, and I totally get why it was placed in the middle of the movie. It's a break from the dark and grim aspects of the other two parts. Stylistically, it definitely takes risks, and for me, those risks mostly paid off (for example, the choreographed factory sequence was pretty off-the-wall, but it was effective). It's simultaneously artsier and zanier than either of the other two parts, both of which play it pretty straight. Yeah, it doesn't fit, but I enjoyed the contrast. My only other criticism is of the acting: Nam Gyu Ri was fine as a zombie, but I found her human acting off-putting. Take from that what you will, I guess.
Picnic is the highlight, telling the story of a girl obsessed with comics as she struggles with real-life responsibilities that are pretty heartbreaking. The story culminates in a sequence that really makes me sad that I didn't see the 3D version, because it was whimsical and spooky and gorgeous but obviously made for 3D. Sigh. Anyway, little Soo An (you've seen her in Train to Busan, yes?) carries the segment like a champ and it all ends on a hopeful but not at all saccharine note.
I have a tiny criticism of the music in Picnic in that it was a bit generic for my taste in parts (bland and boring, sounds like BGM of a million other things). The other parts did better with the music, and overall, it's really good. Even the music in Picnic redeemed itself in that sequence I was referring to above.
I found this movie disturbing, funny, touching, and really entertaining. 8/10, would watch again.