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Concrete Utopia: Overview, Cast, 4 Fun Fact & More

Overview of Concrete Utopia

‘Concrete Utopia’ is a 2023 South Korean movie developed from the plot of a webtoon named Pleasant Outcast by Kim Soongnyung. Lee Byung-hun, Park Bo-young, Park Seo-joon, Kim Sun-young and Park Ji-hu are featured in the movie.

After a severe earthquake, a large area containing skyscraping apartments collapses leaving a single building stand straight on the ground. The movie is directed by Um Tae-hwa and has won several awards in 2023.

Profile

  • Name: Concrete Utopia
  • Genre: Thriller, Drama
  • Starring: Lee Byung-hun, Park Bo-young, Park Seo-joon, Kim Sun-young, Park Ji-hu
  • Directed by: Um Tae-hwa
  • Screenplay by: Um Tae-hwa, Lee Shin-ji
  • Produced by: Byun Seung-min
  • Production Companies: BH Entertainment
  • Cinematography: Cho Hyung-rae
  • Release date: 9 August 2023
  • Edited by: Han Mi-yeon
  • Music by: Kim Hae-won
  • Running time: 129 minutes
  • Language: Korean
  • Country: South Korea
Kdramalive image of Lee Byung-hun Lee Byung-hun as Yeong-tak in "Concrete Utopia" (2023).
Lee Byung-hun as Yeong-tak in “Concrete Utopia” (2023). Credit: Pinterest

Cast

  • Lee Byung-hun as Yeong-tak, the leader of the residents
  • Park Seo-joon as Min-seong, Myeong-hwa’s husband and also a public servant.
  • Park Bo-young as Myeong-hwa, a nurse.
  • Kim Sun-young as Geum-ae
  • Park Ji-hu as Hye-won, a high school student
  • Kim Do-yoon as Do-gyun, an uncooperative resident
  • Lee Seon-hee as a resident
  • Joo In-young as Kim Po-daek
  • Uhm Tae-goo as a homeless man

Synopsis

Min-seong is a civil servant. One day, he wakes up from sleep and walks towards his balcony. His face displays both worry and some recent injuries. He is bewildered to watch the buildings in the whole area collapse, crushing down thousands of lives. People outside are running for food and shelter in the harsh cold weather.

Min-seong’s wife, Myeong-hwa, is a nurse. They are scared to move to other locations from their apartment. She checks the food items that they have in store, while Min-seong brings 20 bottles of water. He tells her that people have started selling essential things in return for gas, water, and lighters instead of money.

One day, a room on the ground floor of the building catches fire, and a man named Yeong-tak somewhere from the crowd took the initiative to extinguish the fire. Everyone appreciates Yeong-tak’s bravery.

Kdramalive image of Park Seo-joon in "Concrete Utopia" (2023).
Park Seo-joon as Min-seong in “Concrete Utopia” (2023). Credit: Pinterest

Soon, the residents of the apartment complex call a meeting to decide whether to accept the survivors from the collapsed buildings. For an answer, they go for a poll, and the majority of the residents choose to evict the outsiders.

However, a mere decision to reject the outsiders is not enough, so they elect Yeong-tak as the leader to execute the plan, impressed by his bravery and presence of mind. But Yeong-tak asks for the help of Min-seong in private, considering his military background and young age.

The survivors of the other buildings crowd up in front of the apartment complex. To prevent them from intruding, Yeong-tak and his men block the entrance in protest. It creates a fight between the two groups. Also, for the second time, Yeong-tak managed to cast away the outsiders.

Myeong-hwa is upset by all the arguments and fights. Her husband, Min-seong, starts to focus only on survival and supports Yeong-tak. Still, Yeong-tak has a secret hidden from others. He intrudes into the apartment complex by threatening a young girl to lie that he is her neighbour. Witnessing all the chaos, Myeong-hwa raises her voice against Yeong-tak and exposes his true identity in front of others.

Everyone starts to question the identity of Yeong-tak and turn against him. Yeong-tak sees the young girl away from the crowd and kills her in front of the crowd for exposing him. But an angry crowd begins to attack Yeong-tak. Seeing the fight among the apartment residents, the outsiders try to intrude into the apartment complex.

Min-seong gets injured in the fight, and to save Myeong-hwa, he moves away from the fight with her. After getting severely beaten up by the crowd, Yeong-tak hides in a room, and there he dies. On the other hand, Min-seong and Myeong-hwa settle down in a deserted place.

Kdramalive image of Park Seo-joon and Park Bo-young in "Concrete Utopia" (2023).
Park Seo-joon as Min-seong and Park Bo-young as Myeong-hwa in “Concrete Utopia” (2023). Credit: Pinterest

The next day, Myeong-hwa finds Min-seong dead. Hearing her cry, a few people take her to their shelter.

Theme

‘Concrete Utopia’ is about a group of residents living in the single apartment complex standing in the midst of earthquakes and all other chaos. The movie has many scenes depicting the seriousness of the tragedy caused. The scene in which a single building standing alone in the middle of the fallen skyscrapers itself is a frightful scene.

However, the black humour depicted in the film is the theme that mostly stands out. The people are suffering in front of their eyes, and none of these sights touch the residents of the uncollapsed building. Instead of lending a hand of help, they resist them from entering their building. Also, they organise frequent meetings to resist the outsiders.

As the title of the movie indicates, the residents are trying to make up for the losses that happened due to the earthquake. They clean the surroundings of the building, create the rules to follow, and introduce some hygienic ideas. They are not thinking about the fact that to exist on earth, every form of life forms are needed. Here, their Utopia does not have the support of any other life forms other than humans.

Furthermore, ‘Concrete Utopia’ shows how people turn into refugees and how they are treated by others.

Awards

  • Buil Film Awards 2023
    Best Film
    Best Actor – Lee Byung-hun
    Best Cinematography – Cho Hyung-rae
    Star of the Year Award (Female) – Park Bo-young
Kdramalive image of Lee Byung-hun and Park Seo-joon in "Concrete Utopia" (2023).
Lee Byung-hun as Yeong-tak and Park Seo-joon as Min-seong in “Concrete Utopia” (2023). Credit: Pinterest

Interesting Facts about Concrete Utopia

  1. ‘Concrete Utopia’ is inspired by the webtoon named ‘Pleasant Outcast’ by Kim Soongnyung.
  2. For the 96th Academy Awards, ‘Concrete Utopia’ was elected as the South Korean entry in the Best International Feature Film category.
  3.  The filming of ‘Concrete Utopia’ was completed in August 2021.
  4. ‘Concrete Utopia’ was premiered in Asia, Europe, and South America.

FAQs

  1. What is the Instagram ID of Park Seo-joon?
    @bn_sj2013.
  2. When is ‘Concrete Utopia’ released?
    9 August 2023
  3. Who is the director of ‘Concrete Utopia’?
    Um Tae-hwa.
  4. What is the genre of ‘Concrete Utopia’?
    Survival.
  5. What is the Instagram ID of Park Ji-hu?
    @03_hu.

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