If you’ve ever tinkered with the idea of paying a visit to a massage parlor for the “full service” treatment, you should really check out this film first. In fact, go sit in the corner for a couple of hours, you’ve been a bad dog.
Shot in a sickly green glow, “Toy” is a short narrative piece that quickly details what life must be like for these female Korean refugees who are carted off to work in massage parlors in cities such as Los Angeles. We see how the women are herded into a small room where they are forced to sit on the floor to await their turn to service a customer. A rice cooker filled with rice is their only means of comfort and nourishment.
“Toy” focuses on one girl in particular. She’s a fresh face amongst the bunch of broken spirited girls, wide-eyed and innocent. She’s understandably frightened of the horrible things she will need to do to survive, but as she’s forced to service customer after customer, we see the life drain from her face – another zombie in the land of the free.
“Toy” shows us just enough of the disgusting activities to drive home its point, but not so much that it becomes exploitation. Hats off to Abraham Lincoln Lim for properly pulling off this depressing true-life tale. On a lighter note, the guy’s got one of the coolest names I’ve ever heard.