Life, Once Again! - Chapter 471

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“My girl. Aren’t you ignoring your mother too much these days?”

“Huh? What do you mean?”

“I think you promised to eat out with me last weekend.”

Hearing that, her daughter made a startled expression before approaching her with a smile.

“Sorry, mom. I completely forgot.”

“You mean you intentionally ignored it, not forgot about it, so that you can go on a date with your boyfriend. I guess this is why people say that raising a daughter is no good.”

“Mom.”

“Just go live with Maru already. This mom of yours will live a lonely life with this laptop.”

When she made a depressed expression, her daughter approached her back before starting to massage her shoulders. She was really good with her small hands as it felt as though all of her sore muscles were being relieved. Choi Haesoo subconsciously smiled, and her daughter caught onto that immediately and said,

“Mom, looks like you’re okay now?”

“It’s a big mistake if you think that I’d be okay with just a massage on the shoulders. Your mother is not that easy.”

“Then I’ll make dinner tonight. I’ll make your favorite omelettes.”

“Hm, that’s a bit tempting.”

“I’ll be going out for some groceries then.”

Her daughter soon changed her clothes and left the house. Seeing that, Haesoo thought that she was really glad to have given birth to a daughter.

“Just whose daughter is she? Wait, mine, huh.”

Haesoo turned her laptop, which she had turned off to rest, back on again. She had gotten a job from a magazine company. It was a movie column, and along with a line that asked her to do the job quickly, an internet reservation ticket, as well as the movie title, was there. As she had finished her final draft of the romance novel, she was just about to watch a movie to get some rest, so she really had gotten a good job.

She searched Twilight Struggles up on the internet. It had been six days since the movie was released. It was age-restricted. It received an R19 rating not because of sexual content, but because of cruelty and violence.

Haesoo was not afraid of spoilers. In fact, she watched a movie after she crammed as much information about the movie itself. Some of her movie friends asked her what the fun was in that, but Haesoo always retorted by saying that you see as much as you know. Of course, knowing the twist of a movie with a twist would make it less interesting, but it would allow her to watch the decisions of the director that lead to such a twist in much more detail. It would allow her to clearly grasp the flow of the story, and see the techniques of the producers by following minute visual cues. Such techniques helped her out a lot when writing, so Haesoo watched movies while focusing on the story rather than the beauty of the movie itself. Thanks to her preferences, getting her hands on a lot of information prior to watching helped her out a lot.

“A disturbing movie huh.”

Like the imagery given by the word ‘struggle’, most of the reviews online mentioned that it was disturbing and unpleasant. Leaving aside how good the movie was, the story itself was so unpleasant that most people did not want to watch it twice.

After reading a bit, Haesoo nodded. Her own household was much simpler compared to the movie. She frequently visited her parents, and her parents also frequently came to Seoul to visit their grandchildren. Before they passed away, they went on a family trip together, and both of her parents died in bed. She heard from around her that they had died a fortunate death, and even when she met up with her siblings, they talked about how their parents passed away in comfort and sent them off with a smile.

However, Haesoo also knew that such a household was not ordinary. The final moments of an elderly that did not possess anything were truly tragic. She had done some investigation on the state of living of the elderly while working on a drama before which allowed her to find out the truth then: that filial duty only existed in books. Abandoned elderly mostly lived in practically shack-like buildings in the most rural areas, where the gradient was so steep that even most young people would have a hard time climbing. To be precise, half of them were abandoned, while the other half imprisoned themselves there of their own accord. Haesoo still remembered the smile of a grandma who smiled at her saying that she couldn’t inconvenience her children on her ‘way’.

The movie used one such old man as the main character. He wasn’t some ex-special forces agent, nor some super-rich businessman who went bankrupt after someone betrayed him. He didn’t possess any special skills or had the smarts. He was the epitome of being ordinary. He had a decent job, met a decent woman, got married, had children, and spent his later years by himself like many other elderly people.

“What caused the civilian to become the villain?”

Haesoo decided on the title of the column on the spot. As for the contents, she was going to write it after watching the movie.

She expanded the information section of the movie and had a look at the actors. There were all sorts of famous actors that made her exclaim. Didn’t they say this was an indie movie? Just casting these people should have cost hundreds of millions. Haesoo thought that the identity of the movie was wrong. This was the literal definition of a commercial movie, wasn’t it?

There weren’t any articles about the budget for this movie. Normally, one way of advertising movies was to show off how much money went into it, but in the case of Twilight Struggles, there were no articles talking about it at all. Was it under control? Or was it that the journalists haven’t found out yet?

Recently, she was earning a living off of romance novels, but she actually liked this genre better. Deep-diving into the evil side of humanity. That was what piqued her interest.

Haesoo had a look at the clock. It was 2 p.m. When she looked it up, she saw that there was one airing in Suwon station’s B-Movie. If she got there by car, she should be able to catch the next one.

“Mom, you’re going out?”

After telling her daughter, who came back from buying groceries, to look after the house, she left. Although she liked watching movies with her daughter, it was age-restricted, so there was no helping it. She drove her car to the cinema and went to the ticketing booth to get her reserved ticket. She didn’t like eating while watching a movie, so she went inside with her hands empty.

‘There are quite a lot of people.’

The movie was quite cruel, so she didn’t think that it would be popular at all. She thought that the younger people would prefer the romance movie that had been released around the same time.

“Over here.”

“Excuse me, coming through.”

“Hey, the movie’s gonna start. When are you coming?”

She could hear the voices of various people.

People had filled up row A, which was the row closest to the screen, to row J, which was the closest to the entrance. Seeing the unexpected number of people, Haesoo stood there for a moment and looked at the audience seats. There were many young people, seemingly in their early 20s, filling up the seats. Were they here as a group from a movie circle or something?

After watching them for a while, she found out that they were all different groups. Perhaps they didn’t know what this movie was about?

“I heard that the acting in this is seriously no joke.”

“One of my friends lives in Seoul, and apparently, it’s practically a war if you want to watch it there. That’s what made her come all the way to Anyang to watch it.”

“I heard it was cruel though.”

“It can’t be compared to the other movies that are released these days.”

Those were the things she heard from around her. Was the movie popular among the younger generation? Haesoo sat down for now. Not long later, the ads finished. Seeing the lights become dimmer, Haesoo looked at the screen calmly.

* * *

“I told you it’s not that fun.”

“It’s fine. Mom and dad will have dinner outside, so you two can eat on your own. Money’s on the table.”

We’re off - they said before leaving through the door. Maru sighed. It wasn’t exactly a movie made for couples. Despite his advice to them not to go, the two ended up going to the cinemas in the end. It wasn’t really a fitting movie for a nice Sunday afternoon, he thought.

“Is the movie that strange?” Bada asked as she put some snacks in her mouth.

“It’s not strange, but it is strange for the two of them to be watching together.”

“Why? The internet was in an uproar about it though.”

“Uproar?”

“Yeah, don’t you know?”

When he asked back again, Bada waved at him. Maru followed her into her room. She pressed the power button of the PC with her toe and opened a browser. After typing a few things, she pointed at the screen.

“Look at this.”

It was the blog of a girl that Maru presumed to be Bada’s friend. On the main page, there was the line ‘I want to watch Twilight Struggles’ in a cute font. There was even a smile emoji right after it.

“My friends all want to watch the movie.”

“Do they know what they’re even getting themselves into?”

“Who cares? Sungjae-oppa is in it.”

Ah - Maru immediately realized what was happening.

“But that person barely has any screen time.”

“But still, Sungjae-oppa is in it. Just that is enough to watch.”

“How devoted. But what can you do? It’s age-restricted, so you can’t watch it.”

“I’ll watch it once it’s on the internet.”

When Maru narrowed his eyes, Bada asked back as though nothing was wrong.

“But it’s not just us that likes it.”

Bada clicked on a few things with the mouse and the blog changed. There was a photo of a man in his mid-twenties on the main page.

“Even if I go to other people’s blogs, there are a lot of people who want to watch the movie.”

Bada showed him the blogs of many other people. Like what she said, most of their recent posts mentioned either that they watched the movie, or that they want to watch it.

“A sister of a friend of mine went all the way to Seoul in order to watch it. The Seoul Central Theater, was it? She said that watching it there is the proper way to watch it.”

“The Seoul Central Theater?”

“Yeah. But there are only two theaters that air it, so reserving a ticket for that is as hard as reserving tickets for concerts, if not harder. Buying one on the site is out of the question.”

Bada opened the website for the Seoul Central Theater and showed him the current reservation status of the movie. Even the last run, which was on at 40 past midnight, was almost fully reserved.

“Just what is….”

Maru blinked several times as he looked at the screen. It was definitely a well-made movie. The staff and the actors were in perfect harmony and made a great movie. He could say that because he was there when it was shot. Twilight Struggles was definitely an incredibly well-made movie.

However, there was a clear difference between a well-made movie and a popular movie.

“You’re acting strange, oppa. You should be rejoicing if the movie you’re in does well. Why do you look so sour?”

Bada clearly looked confused.

“Also, have a look at this.”

The next site that Bada put up was a site that gathered reviews of movie critics. It was a platform provided by a web portal, and on the top of the page was Twilight Struggles.

“Look at this. It’s all praises. Isn’t that awesome?”

Most of them were 8 stars or above out of 10. Maru took the mouse from Bada and looked for a critic named Lee Onjoo. She was a movie critic that was known to not give many stars when she rated, and even she gave 9 stars out of 10.

-Nurturing children was an obligation, and looking after the elderly was an option. As a result, the murder was morally justified. The stage of this cruel murder is our neighbor’s house.

After reading up to that part, Maru went to a web portal to look up Twilight Struggles. When he went to the information section about the movie, he could see the reviews of the general masses as well. The average was 5 out of 10 stars. There were some statistics as well, and it was running on both extremes: 10 or 1. As a result, the average became 5. There was no middle.

“Huh? That’s a lower score than I expected.”

“No, this is normal. Normally, the scores of the general masses are lower the higher the scores from critics are. However, a reaction like this should lead to a decrease in view count, but….”

There were a lot of blogs that had reviews, or posts about boasting that they watched this movie on the web portal. There was no need to expand the search to the past week. There were several pages of articles that came up from just yesterday.

Was it a piece of work that would be controversial among the ordinary folk? Maru found the current situation a little curious. At that moment, a name caught his eye.

Choi Haesoo. It was the name of his mother-in-law. When he clicked on it, he found a column related to Twilight Struggles. The article, which started off with the sentence ‘this movie is something to be watched together as a family’, was giving it a sharp evaluation.

Articles related to the movie like that took a whole portion of the search results. Did articles like this always come out in batches when a movie was released?

Just as he was wondering about that, he heard his phone ring. He went back to his room and picked up the call. After listening to the other party for a while, Maru uttered a short exclamation.

“An interview?”

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