A wife (Lee Eun-Woo) has reached the end of her rope with her cheating husband (Cho Jae-Hyun). She fights with him as he accepts a call from his mistress, all while their teenage son (Seo Young-Joo) looks on with indifference. When the husband returns that evening, the wife attempts to castrate him, but is overpowered by the husband. She then turns her rage to their son, setting off a series of increasingly strange events.
Director Kim Ki-duk delivers an unsettling film with Moebius. From start to finish, the film focuses strictly on sex, and in some of the most uncomfortable ways imaginable. Castration, masturbation, incest, and rape make up almost every scene in the film, which will instantly turn many viewers off. Buried deep within the film is a story of fatherly dedication, but this isn’t the most pleasant way to deal with a topic like that. There’s also a lot of Buddhist imagery in the film, which surely has something to do with the storyline, but without any knowledge of Buddhism, it’s going to be lost on the crowd.
The film features no dialogue, which probably wouldn’t make a difference at all. It’s hard to imagine what kind of conversations would occur between characters within each twisted scene that happens. This leaves the actors with all the work to express their emotions, as well as trying to tell the story, and they all do a fantastic job. It’s the one strong point of the film, but it’s easily lost in the graphic content. The best moments come when Cho Jae-Hyun, as the father, must interact with his now castrated son, played by Seo Young-Joo. Even without any words, you can see how bad the father feels for his son, and how he desperately wants to make things better. Taken out of this strange scenario, it would be a beautiful thing. Within this graphic film, it’s hard to appreciate it.
In the end, there’s not enough good to overshadow the bad here. It’s not that the film is terrible, it’s the way it deals with the story that is. Viewers will either accept the series of disturbing events, or they’ll be disgusted by them, there’s really no half way.