Yuna, a young girl struggling to make meets end financially, has an unusual job: she makes sandwiches and delivers them to her customers, who she then spends some time with. Some talk to her about everyday fears and frustrations, others are a bit more unorthodox. She simply sits and listens – she’s used to it, but still does not understand why people would pay money for such a service. A customer who one day tops her weird list is Anthony – she feels very uneasy in his presence at first, but then discovers his dark secrets, that resonate with hers.
‘Yuna’s Lunch‘ is a very interesting film, as it captivates you with its intriguing premise from the very start, and throws unanswered question after unanswered question at the audience, while intelligently laying the groundwork for the ending. It is a very layered and complex exploration of the girl’s character, who does not share much directly – she stays quiet at all times in her conversations with her clients, and we only get a few monologue lines from her in certain key scenes. This is particularly what makes her case so interesting, and what hooks the audience into wanting to know more about Yuna and her past.
Moving away from the deep themes and motivation the project revolves around, ‘Yuna’s Lunch’ is likewise a very aesthetically pleasing short film. The use of facial closeups, which suggest that the entire experience is a very personal one, mixes well with a number of interestingly shot scenes, which make use of layers in order to showcase multiple focal points within the same frame. The lack of a ubiquitous score induces a somewhat introspective mood, which fits well within the context of Yuna’s silence, and adds meaning to the overall plot.
This short film is not without its flaws – the plot presentation, with all the flashbacks and the juxtaposed nature of Yuna and Anthony’s past, can feel confusing at times, and the conclusion might come slightly too early in the context that a number of scenes do not add much to the overall plot except for analysing Yuna’s unusual job. However, the final result remains impressive and extremely moving – and the details which do matter converge wonderfully in the last couple of scenes. Writer and director Myeong Jin Park, as well as the rest of the cast and crew (a special mention for Jaine Ye, who portrays the main character with considerable talent), can be proud of their achievement.