Split across four episodes, Persona is an eclectic selection of short films from critically acclaimed Directors in Korea. With completely different tones and styles throughout, the four episodes all manage to pull together a strong, thematic core even if on the surface, the films’ stories don’t always deliver as strongly as they perhaps should.
Most of the films draw on the same themes, revolving around love and passion whilst depicting our different emotional states and attitudes around this topic. For the most part it works well too, with completely different tones clashing and complementing one another across this selection. With each episode clocking in at around 25 minutes, this is a very easy anthology to sit through and has enough going on to keep you engaged through to the end.
Given the significance of the themes and morals behind each tale, this is a much more artistic series than it first appears. On the surface level, there really isn’t much going on across these episodes but when you dive a little deeper, there’s some profound morals and themes being explored that make this a really interesting set of films to dissect.
Stylistically, the four Directors certainly do their best to make their films stand out, with a completely different colour palette and mood clinging to each tale. Whether it be the surrealistic tones of Collector or the black and white hues of Walking At Night, there’s a consistency here to keep each episode separate whilst showcasing some slick cinematography and artistic camera work in the process.
Given the nature of this series and the distinct tone being showcased throughout, Persona is not an anthology that will appeal to everyone. Those after a more straightforward or action-packed set of episodes will certainly be left disappointed by this one. As a slice-of-life examination of social issues and those willing to dive a little deeper into the meaning behind these tales, Persona has a lot going on, even if that happens to be lost a little behind the storylines.