‘SEVENTEEN Power Of Love: The Movie’ review: a sentimental love letter to fans

SEVENTEEN’s first-ever concert film is a heartwarming, spirited celebration of their accomplishments

“When I was little, it wasn’t my dream to be a singer,” Woozi admits in the starting seconds of SEVENTEEN Power Of Love: The Movie, despite his growing infatuation for music in his adolescence. “I thought it couldn’t come true. Like, ‘This isn’t my dream.’ I denied it.”

His other bandmates shared their own anecdotes of childhood dreams of music and dance – and similar assumptions that their aspirations were nothing but pipe dreams. But their hunger to be on the stage kept growing regardless, and it eventually led them all to the same place: the halls of Pledis Entertainment as wide-eyed trainees.

As The8 puts it: “Should I say it feels a bit like fate?” And it may feel like it, but there’s no denying the sheer volume of blood, sweat and tears SEVENTEEN have poured into their work, rightfully brought to the forefront throughout their debut concert film. Touted as a “love letter in movie form” to Carats – their fanbase – the film takes viewers on a journey through the psyches of one of K-pop’s most ambitious acts, featuring one-on-one interviews with the group’s members, footage from past in-person concerts, never-before-seen behind-the-scenes clips and more.

Over the span of roughly 100 minutes, the film lays bare moments of introspection from all of SEVENTEEN. They reminisce about their upward ascent over the past seven years together; from their debut in 2015 as scrappy go-getters and their first music show win with ‘Pretty U’ the following year, to the brotherly bond born out of adversities over the past decade.

The musings of SEVENTEEN may have shaped the film’s core, however they don’t offer much undiscovered insight into their inner workings as a team. While their different personalities get to shine through the individual interviews, the film never seems to scratch more than the surface of who the group are as people – at least, it’s nothing fans don’t already know – aside from their self-evaluations as K-pop idols with the constant need for regrowth.

Though, this isn’t to say that Power Of Love: The Movie lacks poignant moments – at some points, the members all earnestly gush about the indispensable camaraderie they share: “They’re precious to me, like a real family,” says youngest member Dino, while Jeonghan even wonders aloud, “Should I say we’ve become more attached?”

More importantly, the film also lives up to its description as a love letter to fans; perhaps Woozi words it best: “Someone once told me, ‘I found the strength to live thanks to your music.’ I learned that it works the other way round, too. That’s how I feel about our fans. I’m becoming a person that finds the strength to live, thanks to them.” These moments add some much-needed substance and depth to the movie, though it may have worked best if this openness was more present throughout its duration.

The film is undoubtedly heartwarming and nostalgic for Carats, but Power Of Love: The Movie may not be the most optimal resource for casual listeners or newcomers aspiring to get acquainted with the boyband and their history at an intimate level. The movie opts to highlight only select milestones of SEVENTEEN’s career thus far, and instead lends majority of its focus to the performances seen at the ‘Power Of Love’ concerts, along with the group’s own relationship and sentiments towards their fans.

As a result of that focus, the movie acts more like a recreation of the thrilling and exuberant, live performances only SEVENTEEN are able to deliver. It’s safe to say that this is the closest we have come to a live concert from the group since COVID-19 dominated every crevasse of our world. Even if it’s only to be experienced through a screen, the boyband’s spirit and zeal is a strong reminder of what awaits fans on the horizon of the pandemic.

SEVENTEEN Power Of Love: The Movie has most certainly arrived at a time marked by exciting new endeavours for SEVENTEEN. With the recent release of their first-ever English single ‘Darl+ing’ and their fourth full-length album on the way, there are zero signs that suggest the boyband’s will stop anytime soon. But that doesn’t mean their devotion, gratitude and respect for their fans have ever wavered; if anything, they’ve only strengthened over time.

“If there are no Carats, there is no SEVENTEEN,” says Jun, as Joshua shares his wishes for the audience: “I want to tell you all that you’re so precious to us. I hope we can all have fun at the concerts soon.” But until that wish comes true, viewers have to settle for SEVENTEEN’s debut concert film – a nostalgic and charismatic testament to the power of love between the group and their fanbase.

Details

  • Director: Oh Yoon-dong
  • Starring: S.Coups, Jeonghan, Joshua, Jun, Hoshi, Wonwoo, Woozi, DK, Mingyu, The8, Seungkwan, Vernon, Dino
  • Release date: April 20 and 23
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