Monday, September 14, 2020

#Alive / #살아있다 - Movie Review

The Movie: #Alive / #살아있다

The Director: Cho Il-hyung

The Cast: Yoo Ah-In, Park Shin-Hye, Lee Hyun-Wook

The Story: The rapid spread of an unknown infection has left an entire city in ungovernable chaos, but one survivor remains alive in isolation.

The Review:
You would think by now that filmmakers would run out of interesting stories to tell within the zombie genre although every year there is a steady flow of new product, some better than others. What's interesting about this movie is how it focuses on two people stuck in isolation, trying to communicate and trying to survive under unprecedented circumstances while also trying to adjust to unwanted new norms and an uncertain future. Sounds kind of familiar, right?

The strength of this movie is the performances from the two leads Yoo Ah-In as online gamer Oh Joon-woo and Park Shin-Hye as a young woman who we really don't learn much about other than she is a climber and has above average athletic ability. Yoo Ah-In I think has a lot more to dig into as his character displays lots of emotions when it comes to his family and his predicament where as Park Shin-Hye's character is more reserved with a strength and resolve that is unmatched.

It was interesting to see how far into the characters' mental health the story looked to explore and how much it parallels what people are going through today under quarantine with dangers seemingly right outside our doorsteps. Seeing the two characters, and later a third, show the effects of their dilemma in a progressively downward spiral was a good and honest counterpoint to the zombie action that took up the rest of the movie. The characters individually deal with the possibility of suicide and it's only the realization that they can work together that motivation and inspiration moves them forward towards survival.

The zombie action is about what you'd expect with an endless hoard of fast moving flesh eaters around every corner. The behaviors of the zombies is actually very similar to those we see in Train to Busan and Peninsula to the point where you's almost thing this movie takes place in the same world. I mean it is a very similar situation so who knows. Now days the possibilities of cross overs are never out of the question.

The Verdict:
#Alive is an excellent entry into the crowded zombie genre and adds a good dose of character drama while still providing plenty of undead action. Watching a movie that shows how people can overcome mental obstacles during an unexpected crisis by working together is a nice allegory for what a lot of us are going through in real life.

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