Aloners (Honja saneun saramdeul)
Year Released: 2023
Runtime: 1h 31m
Director(s): Hong Seong-eun
Writer(s): Hong Seong-eun
Cast: Gong Seung-yeon, Jung Da-eun, Seo Hyun-woo, Park Jeong-hak, Kim Hannah
Language: Korean with English subtitles
Where To Watch: premieres via VOD & digital on June 9, 2023
RAVING REVIEW: Join the conversation; we're deep diving into the ocean of solitude and disconnectivity with Hong Seong-eun's engaging cinematic spectacle – ALONERS. Picture yourself getting comfy in your favorite movie-watching spot and meeting Jina, our formidable protagonist, brought to life by Gong Seung-yeon.
Jina is a shining star in her professional world, a customer call center where the chatter never ends, but the dialogue seldom begins. But when the workday wraps up, she swaps the commotion for calm, choosing a life less ordinary and more solitary. The waters of her calm existence are disturbed when she takes on the mentorship of Jung Da-eun's character, an enthusiastic newcomer to the call center floor. The serenity of Jina's solo commutes, self-dined dinners, and TV-filled evenings are disrupted by this burst of youthful energy, creating ripples in her usually still pond.
ALONERS presents a multi-dimensional exploration of Jina's relationships, where love and tensions are quiet and contrary to expectations. She maintains contact with her father primarily through a webcam while overseeing the health of her ailing mother. This digital connection feels strained and distant, reflecting a past filled with perceived grievances.
With Jina as our guide, ALONERS invites us on a journey through the labyrinth of solitude. The film mirrors society's reflection, where 40% of the population has embraced the 'honjok' lifestyle (a South Korean term for people who willingly undertake activities alone.) It beautifully maps the diverse landscape of solitary dwellers, ranging from eager young professionals to those of the older generation, capturing the various degrees of an increasingly fragmented society.
ALONERS doesn't just show us a world where solitude is the norm; it invites us to question our choices. It's as if Jina's life is a mirror, reflecting a question we all must answer: Is our solitude a choice, or is it the world that has forced us into isolation?
ALONERS is not just a film; it's a conversation starter. It thrusts 'honjok' into the cinematic narrative, echoing its rising presence across various cultural platforms, from TV shows to podcasts. By the film's end, we're left to contemplate the question it subtly asks: "What kind of life would you choose?"
ALONERS brings to light the silent battle of personal isolation, compelling us to introspect on our life choices and societal influences that mold them. With its unique narrative style and powerful message, ALONERS is a must-watch for those curious to understand the growing appeal of solitude in an increasingly isolated world.
So, are you ready to embark on a journey into the world of ALONERS? With a perfect blend of solitude exploration, individuality celebration, and societal interconnectedness reminder, this movie promises a cinematic journey that will leave a lasting impression. Buckle up and enjoy the ride!
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[photo courtesy of FILM MOVEMENT]