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Review Korean Drama: ”Alive”




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“Alive” (original title: “살아있다” or “Alive”) is a South Korean thriller drama film released in 2020, directed by Cho Il-hyung and starring Yoo Ah-in and Park Shin-hye. The film focuses on the theme of survival in the midst of a sudden and brutal zombie outbreak that engulfs a city. With the use of social media as the story’s focal point, the film explores solitude, isolation, and the struggle to survive in extreme situations. The story begins with Joon-woo (played by Yoo Ah-in), a young man living alone in his apartment, discovering that a zombie plague has erupted out there. Initially, she learned of this terrible situation through the news and social media. Quickly, the city turned chaotic, and communications and utilities began to be cut off. Joon-woo, who is isolated in his apartment, struggles to survive on limited food supplies and without access to the latest information about the outbreak. On the other hand, the film also introduces Yoo-bin (played by Park Shin-hye), a woman who also survives in the same apartment building. Unlike Joon-woo who initially panicked and was unprepared, Yoo-bin seemed more calm and organized in dealing with situations. Over time, these two characters eventually become aware of each other’s existence through gestures they send from their apartment windows.

The film depicts their struggle to survive, not only from the threat of zombies but also from a sense of loneliness and despair. With creativity and courage, they began to communicate and work together, even if only from a distance. Joon-woo and Yoo-bin use drones, ropes, and other tools to share food and messages. In the process, they build a strong bond, a ray of hope in the midst of despair. As the story progresses, the challenges intensify. Zombies aren’t the only threat, They also have to deal with thieves and other dangers that arise from such chaotic situations. The film shows how crises can bring humans to their lowest point, but also how difficult circumstances can trigger solidarity and the desire to survive together. The main character, Joon-woo, undergoes a significant transformation throughout the film. From a young man who almost gave up and lost hope, he became a stronger and braver figure. His desire to survive and protect others, especially Yoo-bin, shows deep character growth. In addition, “Alive” also offers social critique, especially about modern society’s dependence on technology and social media. Although these technologies are initially seen as tools that separate individuals, in the context of the film, they become the bridge connecting Joon-woo and Yoo-bin, proving that in certain situations, digital connectivity can be a lifesaver.

At the end of the day, “Alive” isn’t just a movie about zombies. It is a story about people, solitude, and strength found in solidarity. With a combination of riveting suspension, an emotional story, and strong acting from both leads, the film offers a unique and touching look at what it means to survive in the most extreme conditions. Some lessons that can be taken from the film “Alive” include:

  1. Importance of Connection and Communication: One of the key aspects in survival is the ability to communicate and connect with others. Although the main character, Oh Joon-woo, is initially isolated, he eventually finds a way to communicate with others who also survive. This shows the importance of social connection, even in the worst situations.
  2. Creativity and Adaptation: When faced with unexpected situations, the ability to adapt and be creative with existing resources becomes very important. Oh Joon-woo uses various objects in his apartment to survive and protect himself from zombies.
  3. Courage and Toughness: The film illustrates the importance of courage and mental toughness in the face of fearful and uncertain situations. Characters must overcome their fears and stay strong to survive.
  4. Life and Humanity Values: Despite being faced with a humanitarian crisis, the film highlights the importance of safeguarding human values. The main character and the people he meets show compassion and help each other, which underscores the importance of maintaining humanity in any situation.

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