White night is a phenomenon occurring in the polar regions where the sky remains bright even before sunrise or after sunset. After seeing this movie, one may chew over what this lyrical title would signify. Is the twilight that lingers in a pitch-dark night a symbol of hope or a symbol of despair? Characters’ situation and mentality are as ambiguous as the title. The movie begins with a scene where two men meet by a desolate street one dark night. They look like an old couple, but their meeting each other is just a step to confirm their farewell, which has been an established fact for a long time. Farewell comes as soon as they meet. Won-gyu, who decided to leave Korea forever, meets Tae-jun to spend a long-delayed night. Won-gyu is a flight attendant working for a foreign airline and spending most of his time on planes; and Tae-jun practically lives on the streets working as a motorcycle delivery man. Their jobs show that they live in desolate streets exposed to rains and storms, not comfortable home; that is, a life of drifter. This country doesn’t allow men who love men to settle down. Knowing the fact, Won-gyu gives up all faith and hope and plans to leave Korea, but Tae-jun, who hasn’t yet given up his life in Korea. Their love can be made only in restrooms, streets, parks, rooftops and desolate fields. Is there hope in this painful situation? The snow that falls when they make love with scarred bodies is blessing as well as consolation. Tae-jun’s “Get lost” really means “Don’t go,” and their gestures of hiding themselves in the dark and starting off on a journey again show desire to return. White Night is a blurry mixture of contempt, desire, frustration and hope. Simple yet powerful, plaintive yet spiteful; impressions lingers long after the movie is over.
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