Director: Jang Youngsun
Cast: Han Hyunjun, Ahn Jong Sun
The opening shot of the 2021 Korean short film ‘Please Tell Me So’ is art in motion – a man is sleeping on what looks like a steel kitchen counter top, like he is tired of everything. The scene exudes a cold sad loneliness, and then a hand comes into the frame, waking the man up, bringing him back to reality. Our tired protagonist is Yu Gyeom, who works at a barista, and is woken up by a handsome young customer.
Only eight minutes long, this short-film sweetly captures the essence of love in the time of dating apps. Yu Gyeom is completely mesmerized by the handsome customer Seung Woo (Ahn Jong Sun) and keeps describing Woo as his ‘ideal type’ on a gay dating app Blued (they sponsored the movie). Will the two move beyond exchanging glances at the cafe to something more?
Director Jang Youngsun keeps it simple, balancing the warm loneliness of a cafe, with some bright outdoor shots in the second-half of the film. There’s a dramatic flourish of piano music in the first few minutes, that makes the story seem more serious than it really is. The two leads are comfortable in their skins and play their roles to perfection – Han Hyunjun as the smitten, nervous Gyeom and Ahn Jong Sun as the more intimidating/mysterious Seung Woo. The plot has the potential of being a larger length movie or series.
‘Please Tell Me So’ is a fun little short film with a photo-finish ending. It’s a 4/5 from me.
The movie is available on the Korean brand Strongberry’s YouTube’s channel (also embedded below).