I think I’ll always be grateful to YouTube for recommending this to me.
To be perfectly honest, I’m not a fan of spoilers (a lot of people aren’t). I usually avoid reviews and discussions of those shows that I may watch in the future. However, over the years I’d realised that I have to be more careful with the media I consumed—some of the shows out there really need trigger warnings. That’s probably why I tried to look up the tags and reviews regarding this particular short film when I first saw it on my YouTube homepage.
I was surprised to see that, despite the low rating on IMDb, the reviews on MyDramaList (albeit very few) were all positive. This got me curious about the differences of opinion when it came to this short film. A glance at the credits gave me the answer to my questions; Gustavo Kawashita’s One Last Order was, in fact, a workshop assignment submitted by a group of students studying at Hanyang University in 2019 (which explained a lot of things related to the making of the film).
One Last Order (Jumun Hanaman in Korean) is set in a small, quaint café and is approximately 17 minutes long. We’re introduced to three of the four total number of characters in the movie at the very beginning itself, with Jongin (Yoo Kyungseon) ordering a cup of Americano from Kyungsoo (Shim Minki) at the counter. The other two baristas, played by Angelica Moreno (introduced along with the main leads) and Lee Seulgi, are simply referred to as Baristas 2 and 3 in the credits. Despite that, they do play a very important role within the plot.
The film is mostly about Jongin trying to ascertain who his secret admirer is using the clues the latter has left behind in the form of poems written on post-its which were then stuck onto the tray with the cup of coffee. He figures out three things about the admirer—the person seems to be introverted but kind, likes the beach, and favours love ballads—and decides to find out which of the baristas has a crush on him.
As viewers who are already aware that One Last Order is a queer short film, we realise who the admirer is within the first few minutes. At the same time, one understands that the process through which Jongin finds out who it is seems to be important here. I love how he doesn’t just consider only the women in this case; he includes Kyungsoo in his list of potential admirers—unlike a lot of queer media in which we’ve come across protagonists who are surprised at the possibility of the admirer being of the same gender.
I assume that the premise may look very simplistic to a lot of viewers (considering the reviews online) but there are small things that make watching the movie a wonderful experience—and not just the things I’d mentioned earlier. The post-credits scene is very cute and leaves the viewers wanting more, especially when the fingers of the main leads slowly inch towards one another on the table at the café. It also doesn’t hurt that their names are the same as the Korean names of D.O. and Kai from the popular K-Pop group EXO—I’ve seen comments about how the creative heads may be shippers of the two members (KaiSoo, also known as KyungsooxKai).
Despite not being very well-known, One Last Order was fascinating, especially when we take into consideration that it was a short university project. I did not regret watching it one bit. It was simple, yet remarkable in its own way.