• Charlie Vogelsang

Pinki (2019) Review

Ever wondered what happens to your old technology? South Korean short film Pinki explores our relationship with technology from our childhood and asks if our joy is ever truly gone.

Recently uploaded on the premium sci-fi brand site Dust, South Korean filmmaker Spike Hyunsuk Kik’s short film Pinki sets the stage of a distorted South Korea. The movie follows a man named Tae (played by Sung-chun Han) who is being followed by a mysterious woman covered in pink clothing called Pinki (played by Kim Serin).

Tae is an upstanding businessman who is seemingly on his way home when Pinki jumps in front of him. She surprises and scares him by invading his personal space and trying to grab him. Like any normal person, Tae pushes off the stranger and walks away. Only he soon finds out that she is following him. In a mad panic, he breaks his phone and manages to escape her.

Credit: Spike Hyunsuk Kim

After a while, he soon sees Pinki again but manages to sneak past her. Pinki is clearly heartbroken over her rejection but ends up continuing her for him. In a strange twist, Tae and Pinki are reunited as a monster figure approaches them both. The monster is an interesting cross between Godzilla and a Transformer.

For the first few minutes of the short film, Pinki seems just like another horror film with a scary supernatural monster. However, Pinki is much more than that. Throughout the rest of the film, it’s discovered that Pinki is actually Tae’s old cassette player gifted to him by his sister. She is somehow a treasured item from his childhood.

Credit: Spike Hyunsuk Kim

Soon it’s clear that the monster is just doing its job of collecting trash, and it’s Tae who is the antagonist who disposed of Pinki. The film represents society as we take for granted technology just because it's considered outdated. It shows how humans have become selfish in modernity and how we're willing to ditch the little things such as a cassette player filled with memories. Pinki is purely about nostalgia and how we can forget about our greatest joys from our youth. It’s easy to get caught up in life and lose tracks of the joyful moments.

Tae has become a guarded and closed off businessman who is always on the move. He forgets what it's like to stop and relax, and Pinki comes to reopen his mind. Both the performances of Tae and Pinki are charming with barely any dialogue. It’s like a silent film where the expressions progress the film and convey emotions. The performances are heart-warming and show that witty dialogue isn’t always needed to explore films.

Credit: Spike Hyunsuk Kim

The director transforms a regular South Korean neighbourhood into a dystopian nightmare in seconds. Through the great cinematography, music and overall aesthetic, Pinki conveys everything it needs to. Even the clever point-of-view shots show exactly how Tae is feeling. What’s even better is that Kim manages to even tear away the dark tone with just the flicker of emotion from his characters.

It’s truly a worthwhile short to watch as Pinki is filled with moving performances, creative shots and a charming narrative. You’ll leave feeling reminiscent of all that old tech you threw away, and feel nostalgic for the cherished memories you shared.


Available to watch for free on YouTube.