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The Gachon Herald
What Mask Are You Wearing?‘Intimate Strangers,’ a movie that shows fear of secrets being revealed
Jeon Jong-Min  |  jongmin1701@naver.com
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Updated : 2020.01.20  14:38:31
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Everyone has a variety of faces in themselves. A public face, a private face, and a secret face. The Secret Side of me is an essential part of living in a society. However, if the ‘secret parts’ that you want to hide are revealed socially, you and those that are around you will more likely to get hurt. In ‘Intimate Strangers’, they show how people around you react when the secret part is revealed to others, and what actions are taken by people who discover the secret.


 Friends from early childhood, Jeong Seok-Ho, Kang Tae-Soo, Go Jun-Mo, and Young-Bae stayed in touch with each other as they grew older. Then one day, Seok-Ho's family moves to a new place, and the other three friends are invited to the house with their wives or fiancé. The seven people gathered (Seok-Ho, Ye-Jin, Tae-Su, Su-Hyun, Jun-Mo, Se-Kyung, and Young-Bae), ready to enjoy their meals and talk about smartphones and personal information. Seok-Ho's wife, Ye-Jin, suggests playing a game, which is to share what they receive on their cell phones during dinner time. In other words, if you get a call during this game, you should get it on the speaker mode and show text messages to everyone when you get one. At first, Seok-Ho started out as a joke by sending text messages to Jun-Mo as if he were Jun-Mo’s lover, using his daughter's phone. Then, they were having a good time as they received a phone call from Young-Bae's father who was their elementary school principal. But as the game progresses, the atmosphere starts to change strangely. Ye-Jin hides the fact that she is undergoing plastic surgery even though her husband is a plastic surgeon. Seok-Ho hides the fact that he was rooted. Su-Hyun seems friendly to Ye-Jin; but who actually talks behind her back. Tae-Su changed his phone with Young-Bae because he didn't want his secret to be revealed; however he was being cornered as gay. Jun-Mo, who has a fiancé, turns out to meet another woman. Young-Bae, despite being a homosexual, keeps silent about Tae-Su being cornered as gay. Like these, the game that began for fun became more and more corrupted.

 This situation culminates in the climax when they find out that Jun-Mo made another woman he met become pregnant even if he had a fiancé. After that, everyone leaves the place with scars on their hearts. And the last scene is changed to the situation in which they suppose 'If they hadn't played that game.' In that scene, everyone enjoys dinner and goes back to their home.


In response to Ye-Jin's question about why Seok-Ho refused to play the game in the last scene, he told her like this. 'People are imperfect but a smartphone isn't. It is nonsense that imperfect things play with perfect things.' What does this mean? Aristotle said, 'Human beings are innately a social (political) animal,' which means human beings cannot live outside of society, and in order to live in society, they have no choice but to relate to others. And to survive in society, various forms of masks are needed. How will people around you judge yourself if you remove the mask? What mask do you have? I hope you have time to think about this while you are watching this movie.


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