When the city comes to ruin due to a massive Earthquake, one apartment—Hwang Gung Apartments—stands firm with its residents fighting for their lives to protect their families and the community… and, most of all, to survive.
Here are seven reasons to watch “Concrete Utopia”:
1.) The plot dives right into the main core problem, uncovering truths along the way. It’s straight to the point, yet still keeps the audience’s attention with surprises from the homeowners’ unearthed baggage.
2.) Lee Byung Hun (as Young Tak) received a Best Actor nomination for a reason. His small mannerisms built his character, his comedic timing made him humanely relatable, and his emotional outbursts were just right—never over-the-top. His performance is commendable, and his mysterious presence easily pulled the curious viewers in.
3.) Park Seo Jun and Park Bo Young (who plays Myeong Hwa and Min Seong, respectively) often had good chemistry with their co-stars, and their ability to re-create that with each other is evident in the film. Even with short moments, viewers can easily sense their love and care for each other—with or without a backstory. It’s as if you know the extent of their affection just through their casual interactions.
4.) The funny one-liners and adlibs bring in entertainment and comic relief without disrupting the film’s original flow.
5.) The CGI was hit-and-miss, but delivered competently during important wide-shot scenes. The artistic cinematography also painted different feelings—from hope to despair.
6.) The film focused on survival and showcased it skillfully. Still, the story has a lot of potential and can still be stretched to have a second film—and most viewers would most likely watch a sequel or prequel of the movie after getting a feel of “Concrete Utopia.”
7.) “Concrete Utopia” is not a zombie film and doesn’t make use of fantasy elements, but was able to bring out similar vibes: the fight for survival, except this time it’s not against the living dead.
All in all, the film showcased both greed and humanity, and makes you ask and self-reflect: Were their actions evil or was it purely just an act to survive? Was it for the greater good, or for their own agenda? In the end, how “human” is “being human”?
Rated R13, “Concrete Utopia” opens in Philippine cinemas on September 20.
Special thanks to Columbia Pictures for invite to the advance screening.