"Night and Day" is centered around the mixed emotions found in traveling. Characters in the film are Sung-nam Kim, an artist selected by the Korean government that escaped from Seoul and ... See full summary »
The married Bongwan leaves home in the dark morning and sets off to work. The memories of the woman who left weigh down on him. That day Bongwan's wife finds a love note, bursts into the office, and mistakes Areum for the woman who left.
Kwon returns to Seoul from the mountains and is given a packet of letters from Mori back from Japan to propose to her. Kwon drops and scatters the undated letters. She reads them and has to make sense of the chronology - and so must we?
Quite by accident, a film director arrives in town a day early. With time to kill before his lecture the next day, he stops by a restored, old palace and meets a fledgling artist. She's never seen any of his films, but knows he's famous. They talk. And together, they go to her workshop to look at her paintings, have Sushi and Soju. More conversation follows, and drinks, and then an awkward get-together with friends where all sorts of secrets are revealed. All the while, they may or may not be falling for each other. Then, quite unexpectedly, we begin again, but now things appear somewhat different.
Too bad that reading the back cover of the Grasshopper blu ray reveals as much of the plot as it does. Thankfully the rewards of this film stem from the execution: whereas the two principles in the first rendering seem flawed, and the director cruel and manipulative, and the girl sad and naïve, the second take shows the two in a much better light. When the director embarrasses his hosts, the outcome is much different, as is the aftermath of the lecture the director has come to deliver.
Having seen so many action jammed films from Korea - which are so chauvinistic - it is interesting to see Koreans portrayed as quiet, conservative and relentlessly polite in observing the ceremonies of their society. Sounds like we Canadians! Suwon does exist, and there is a lot to do there as a tourist.
The film is recommended for those who relish Asian film; I hope that your local library carries this film, too.
Simon in Victoria, BC
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