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Intimate Strangers - Movie Review

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This is my third installment of movie reviews whilst travelling to and from Europe. For the previous reviews, check out posts tagged with film.

Intimate Strangers

Korea (2018)

6.8 on IMDB

I had seen promos for this during 2018 and it had even come out at our local cinema, but as of writing, I still hadn’t managed to get around to seeing Intimate Strangers in a real theatre. It was probably best that I didn’t, because despite the amusing hook, I didn’t enjoy this movie nearly as much as I thought I would. Let me explain.

The premise is basically a bunch of strangers come together in a dinner party - all eating amazing Korean food of course which made me instantly want Korean BBQ, not a useful urge when you are flying to Europe - and they decide to ‘mix’ things up a bit by reading out each other’s messages that they receive on their phones. There are a few rules of engagement, but basically every message received had to be read out aloud for all to hear. There were many couples at the dinner party, so plenty of phones going ding-ding all night.

All of the couples pretty much have secret affairs and most of these are revealed during the course of the dinner party. There is a bit of fun with mixed up phones (that are otherwise identical) which makes for some funny dialogue and hectic cover-up stories to keep the illusion running. Despite all this fun, not a lot happens, there aren’t that many jokes and the premise starts to wear thin pretty quickly.

You start to get the feeling that the concept would work really well as a short film, but stretched to feature-length? Not so much.

I don’t really know Korean actors and actresses so I won’t go into too much detail here, but there was nothing really wrong with the performances: slow start with plenty of rapid-fire conversations and arguments towards the end.

The movie leaves me with one feeling: a serious hankering for Korean hot-pot.

2 stars

Intimate Strangers - Phone Poster