Is she tired of life or love? Why else is Haewon falling asleep in a restaurant? Haewon, a student, feels abandoned. Her mother is about to emigrate to Canada and Haewon has decided to end her affair with one of her professors because he is so unsupportive…
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As ever with Hong, there is more here than meets the eye. Unless there's even less, and the relentless banality of his thematic repetitions and his stilted, stammering dialogue isn't, in fact, rendered ingenious by the employment of linear narrative-scrambling devices of the sort so many of us love to decipher (or overdetermine). From film to film I scratch my head and change my mind. Together we dither deathward.
It's not readily apparent since Hong's method is so subdued, serene, and "realistic", but this romantic drama is actually as much of a "mindfuck" movie as Primer or Mulholland Dr., where shifting layers of dreams and reality bring past, present, and future together in an inward character study. Not a drama, but a reflection of one, a puzzle surrounding a valuable message: "It will get better."