Review

IU Shines Four Times Brighter In Netflix’s “Persona”

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IU’s first Netflix project Persona premiered on April 11.

Comprised of four short films; Love Shot, Collector, Kiss Burn and Walking at Night, Lee Ji Eun (IU) displays distinctively different characters highlighting her impressively evolving growth as an actress. Each film is unique on its own as it delves into different topics, all equally real and pretenseless.

Persona | Netflix

Persona | Netflix

Persona Highlights

All I can say is — WOW. What an eclectic collection of stories. Each film is so different from each other that it’s really hard to pick a favorite. The varied styles of story-telling kept me entranced the whole time. The fact that the films are short is both a pro and a con.

I feel like the time allotted for each film is enough for each story to unravel. In most stories, we start right smack in the middle of the story. The stories are told in subtle ways, so if you don’t pay attention, you may miss the underlying message.

What I liked most though is that the stories are subjected to the viewers’ interpretation. I don’t want to influence the readers here, but rather I’d like for you to come up with your own interpretation of the stories.

Some hints are obvious, like Walking at Night. IU’s character had tragic circumstances. The man is equally devastated because of her, so she visits him in his dreams. The mood of the story is quiet and woeful, as there’s no one else around them. The night is quiet as they spend time together. It’s so sad and  melancholic, exactly how I’d feel if a lover leaves me.

Collector may not be for the faint-hearted due to some of the gruesome scenes. IU’s ethereal vampire-like beauty draws you in as her porcelain skin absolutely glows. Her lines”I told you that you’d never forget this day, I love you, goodbye” is so symbolic. Fair warning to the men enthralled by her beauty, the woman is a heart breaker through and through.

Other stories were more fast-paced. Love Shot happened so quickly, but the underlying message was so strong and hard to miss. IU was fiercely protective of the bond she had with her dad. She didn’t want anyone interfering and felt she had to defend it against Doona. It was clever to use their real names in that film too.

Lee Ji Eun – the actress

Of course, hats off to IU. I mean, I’ve been a fan ever since Bel Ami. I love her music (who doesn’t?) and she can act well too. My Mister is concrete proof that IU broke out of her shell and completely showcased her relentless talent. However in Persona, I encountered a completely different IU. Or should I say, four completely different sides of IU? She’s so unique and capable of embodying any character given to her that you completely forget Lee Ji Eun. Not to mention the fact that she’s so heartbreakingly beautiful each and every time I see her.

Persona Drawbacks

I can’t really say that I have any drawbacks except … they’re too short? Maybe I can say that I want more? I  hope this is just the first series and production company Mystic Story comes out with more.

Quick Recaps

Love Shot

Netflix | Persona

Netflix | Persona

Short and fast-paced, the first short film Love Shot opened to IU’s character eating an apple roughly as she watches her father play tennis with his girlfriend. The jealous daughter cuts a deal with her dad’s girlfriend, portrayed by Bae Doona. The stakes are high and neither woman wants to lose. The outcome of the tennis game is unexpected but satisfying.

Collector

Netflix | Persona

Netflix | Persona

In the second film of the series, IU is a young, carefree and beautiful woman. She is appealing and seductive and her older boyfriend is madly in love with her. It’s clear that IU doesn’t reciprocate his feelings. IU plays a cat and mouse game with men, but deep inside, she’s ruthless as she is better known as the Collector. What does she collect? Watch the film and see for yourself. Warning: this isn’t for the faint-hearted!!

Kiss Burn

Netflix | Persona

Netflix | Persona

The third installment of the project is more youth-oriented than the first two. A younger version of IU arrives in her school uniform, guided by a GPS tracker to her destination. IU and her friend Hye Bok scheme deviously to gain revenge on the latter’s father. Will they succeed? Their hilarious antics will definitely keep you engrossed.

Walking At Night

Netflix | Persona

Netflix | Persona

The last film in the series is the shortest and the only one done in black and white. In the film, a couple walks slowly while having an intimate conversation. They enjoy the night breeze and the privacy walking at night brings them.  The melancholic mood will envelop you as you eavesdrop on something utterly private. The heartbreaking circumstances of this couple will leave you in tears.

Recommendations

Watch it. Watch all four films and enjoy each one. Refrain from reading reviews until you’ve watched them all. They’re all equally good on their own. Because they’re so short, you’ll be able to finish them all in less than two hours. Having different stories that are so unique from one another ensures that there’s enough thrills for everyone.


Persona is available for viewing on Netflix.

*all images are from Netflix.

 

 

 

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