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The Gachon Herald
Do We Have the Right to Condemn Them?Unveiling the real good and evil through “Concrete Utopia”
Kim Si-On  |  6788zion@gmail.com
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Updated : 2023.12.29  19:19:35
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 Let's suppose that all the apartments in the world collapsed except for the one you live in. What would you do? The strangers who lost their home out of the blue begs you to help them stay at your place. While your fellow residents kick them out, calling them "cockroaches". Among limited resources, the only way you and your family can survive is, by staying loyal to the apartment to receive the daily necessities as much as they can. Could we judge and criticize the choices we make, when our lives are in danger? In this article, we would like to discuss good and evil through uncovering the plot and characters of the movie "Concrete Utopia". 
▲ Special poster for "Concrete Utopia", a film released on August 9, 2023.
 Every apartments in Seoul has collapsed due to a great earthquake, except for the Hwanggung Apartment. People started gathering around at Hwangung Apartment, the only apartment surviving. Through the residents' countermeasure meeting, Youngtak was selected as the representative. The residents forced the outsiders out of the building through a poll. They then create a utopia, unlike the harsh outside world under Youngtak's command. They formed a crime prevention team to obtain resources from outside, and internally distribute those resources differentially according to contribution. However, after the appearance of Hyewon, Youngtak's neighbor, who came back to the apartment from outside, the bond among the residents started to crack. Hyewon told Myunghwa that the current representative of the apartment is actually Sebeom who killed the real Yeongtak. It means Youngtak was not actual him, he was Sebeom. Myunghwa and Hyewon started telling the truth and after an outsider's invasion, Hwanggung Apartment's Utopia slowly breaks down.

Kim Young-tak (Lee Byung-hun)
  The fake resident Youngtak who sat quietly on the corner at the first resident council, started reging on people after receiving the role of a representative. He dictated the Hwanggung Apartment, but practically he was the reason why the residents were able to survive. Even though Youngtak took the lead in finding resources from the outside world by risking his own life, ironically after his identity was revealed, he started killing the residents.

Kim Min-seong (Park Seo-joon)
Minseong, an official who's genuine and righteous becomes the right hand of Youngtak with persistence to help his family. At the time of the great earthquake, he tried to save others even though his safety was at stake. However, when put in a place with scarce food and resources, he kills people to protect himself and his family. Like this, Minseong shows selfish behavior by hiding behind the community and system.

Joo Myung-hwa (Park Bo-young)
Myunghwa is a nurse who pursues other's safety above her own, on the other hand, has way too idealistic and high moral standards compared to reality. While having antipathy for the ways of Youngtak, she starts poking around Youngtak's house after Hyewon's appearance raised suspicion of Youngtak's identity. She showed naive and reckless behavior by not considering the dangers of her husband Minseong, and the residents might face.

"They were just ordinary people". This is what Myunghwa said other survivors asked about the Hwangugng Apartment's residents. The residents of Hwanggung Apartments who ostracized, plundered, and even killed other people, were normal people who wanted to protect themselves and family, and were not so different from us. I have a question for those who are reading this article. What would you guys do when you were put in a situation like the movie? Would you be able to judge good and evil between them? Do we have the right to criticize the choices that characters make for their own good? The movie "Concrete Utopia" leaves us too many questions.
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