MARCH 10 - MARCH 13, 2024

Review | Sum

Movie : Sum

Director: Elly Cho 

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”

– Friedrich Nietzsche

Sum is a tale of an individual’s path towards rediscovery. Oscillating around the various island like contours of life.  she seems to seek herself. She does it using the most elegant movements in the form of an ethereal dance. Like an island surrounded by water, the protagonist’s life seems to be surrounded by events and emotions both fluid and ephemeral. Yet she must be resilient, she must persevere and eventually grace the triumphant abode of glee.


There seems to be a profound note of personal experience in the entire segment. The gestures and the movements seem too intimate to be impersonal. In there hides the plight and relief of a human being. A soul often lost in the ravenous ravages of time.  

The protagonist tries to communicate so much in silence. She indicates her myriad struggles through mere gesticulations.

After the movie, one would surely laud art’s impeccable ability of interpreting life in its purest form. The crisis, the struggle and the eventual release, everything well represented through her dance. The water represents transience, it represents mobility, gyrations between the worlds fantasy and reality.

Water also represents the infinite, man’s endless thirst of seeking something that lies beyond, perhaps in the abode of the unknown. 

In the movie the lone figure of an individual around the immensity of water suggests isolation. As if a miasma of uncertainties has turned the individual helpless. Though she appears to have taken a few steps backward, it is obvious that she would not give in. Like Tennyson’s Ulysses, she refuses to yield.

One can’t help but be reminded of countless images of mankind standing as long rangers against the fury of nature, time and fate. Their spirits reigning supreme over the gargantuan claws of the unknown. 

The movie represents the struggle of an individual both fragile and resilient. Oscillating between relief and disdain a soul finds itself trapped in a dungeon. A dungeon hanging between reality and fantasy.

A lone spirit struggles to find light. It struggles to find solace. The water around stays unusually indifferent in its movements suggesting that the protagonist must find her road alone. The road that shall lead her to a brighter day. 

The music perhaps is the only silver lining for the protagonist. It becomes that rare drop of Ambrosia that induces hope in her. Music promises to stand by her side in all pain and glory.

The impeccable choreography makes the performance more aesthetic, the narration more luminescent. The movements suggest ecstacy and despair, liberation and captivity, belligerence and submission. Contraries that make existence a unique phenomenon. 

The colours represent a plethora of psychological states. The colours black and white act as symbols of tumult and instability. A tussle between opposing forces.

The stellar movements gyrate around chaos and tranquility. Two states who perpetually exist as opposites playing diverse roles in the life of human beings.

The White costume represent shackles. It represents a soul entangled by numerous attachments. On the other hand the black costume symbolises solace. The unconscious urge to drown in Nothingness and stare at the void.

The movie offers a rare experience to lovers of cinema where a story is told through an aesthetic and intricate performance.

A story that would resonate with everyone struggling against uncertainties, human beings often subjected to existential questions. The music, the visuals, the choreography compliment each other creating a perfect depiction of life around all its imperfections.

The movie would certainly take one to a different place for a short span of time, away from the tedium of regular life.

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