“Please Tell Me So” Movie Review

That cigarette-lighting scene? Truly burned me.

I’d like an honest answer to how STRONGBERRY’s BL movies manage to build chemistry between their main leads in the span of 8 minutes (and do a really good job at that). It’s almost like a never-ending mystery in my eyes.

Another MATCHBOX x STRONGBERRY short film released on YouTube, Please Tell Me So (or Malhaejweo in Korean) is written and directed by Jang Youngsun, who is known for her works such as Something, Crunchy Crunchy (2013) and My Eleventh Brother (2016). Like most of its counterparts released on the platform, the movie is about 8 minutes long—which explains why a lot of people are crying in the comments for a longer version. This short film is sponsored by the BLUED app, a popular gay social networking site launched first in China in 2012, which then saw transnational movements in various parts of the world.

The film kicks off with Yugyeom (Han Hyunjun), a barista who works at Our Wave café, sleeping at the counter when a customer (or Seungwoo, played by Ahn Jongseon) wakes him up to place his order. In this customer, Yugyeom finds his ideal type and goes about updating random tidbits about this person on the BLUED app—little things like ‘I like men enjoying their sweets’ or ‘A person who looks good in a cap’, which make his day. This goes on for a good 2 minutes, with no dialogue until much later on, and only music to accompany their smallest moves.


We find ourselves drawn to the main leads and how they interact with each other. From their little bonding session over cigarettes (and their bicycle ride together) to their conversations on the bridge, we get to see many aspects that the leads communicate to us through their acting skills. Whether it’s Yugyeom’s nervous gestures or Seungwoo’s moments of jealousy, the actors have done a wonderful job in conveying the emotions required. And the chemistry—just perfect. As I’d mentioned earlier, the way Seungwoo lit Yugyeom’s cigarette had me rewinding to that part at least ten times before I moved on to the next bit of the film. The cinematography helps a lot when it comes to building chemistry between them, making these scenes even more beautiful.

A title that resonates with a lot of the film’s dialogues—especially when they ask each other “Why didn’t you tell me?” (or wae mareul anhaesseoyo)—Please Tell Me So highlights the importance of communication, even in the nascent stages of what seems to be the beginnings of a new relationship. It also brings out how difficult it may have been for Yugyeom to say that he liked Seungwoo; it’s especially when you’re afraid of rejection, or that the other person may judge you for being gay (which is sad but true given the context). Although built on themes which are seen as very common ones (those of ‘love at first sight’, and one’s isanghyeong or ‘ideal type’), this short film is refreshing in so many ways and is definitely worth watching.

Rating: 4/5

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