The Table is a film made up of four chapters all set in one day in a single location, a coffee shop. The one common link is that the protagonist of each chapter is the female character.
In the first chapter a famous actress, Yu-jin (played by Jung Yu-mi, last seen in Train to Busan) meets with an ex-boyfriend who she was with before she was famous. At first he compliments Yu-jin and steps in to help her when two star-struck fans approach and interupt their moment. However as their conversation progresses, we learn that the ex-boyfriend is also star-struck as he takes a selfie of them both as a souvenir and then shows off to his work colleagues as they pass by watching through the nearby window. Yu-jin’s disappointment shows as she realises that he is no longer interested in her for who she is and is only pleasing his own ego with the fact that he once dated someone who went on to become a famous actress.
The second chapter is a light-hearted reunion of a boy and a girl, Kyung-jin (played by Jung Eun-Chae) who had only met a few times before he suddenly took off on an extended trip around India and Europe. At first we see Kyung-jin feeling disappointed as her affection no longer seems to mean anything. At least that is what she thinks until he has a few surprises for her, gifts from the various places that he visited.
The third chapter is also weakest and most bizarre as Eun-hee (Han Ye-ri) is planning a fake wedding with a professional organiser who is experienced at attending such weddings where she will pretend to be Eun-hee’s mother.
The fourth and final segment, which takes place late in the evening, where Hye-kyung (Lim Soo-Jung from A Tale of Two Sisters) meets with an ex-boyfriend, Hye-Hye-gyeong who is engaged. She proposes to her ex that they have an affair, at least until the wedding day. However he turns her down.
Directed by Kim Jong-Kwan, The Table is a glimpse into the behaviour of ex-couples and what becomes of them after a period of time. The only exception is the third segment regarding the suspicious wedding. There is no real clarity as to what is happening and only suggest that the planned wedding is set up with a sinister purpose. The other three segments show the various scenarios the female protagonists find themselves in when curiously testing the water to see if there is still a spark with their ex-boyfriends.
The performances are what carry the stories. The disappointment on Yu-jin’s face is easy to sympathise with while Kyung-jin’s unexpected reaction makes a pleasant ending to the second segment.
Overall The Table is a film where less is more. The minimal content allows the objects such as the table and the flower to be the common link and the performances to stand out.