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White Night (2009)백야행 : 하얀 어둠 속을 걷다

Directed by: Park Shin-woo (박신우)Starring: Han Suk-kyu (한석규), Son Ye-jin (손예진), Go Soo (고수), Lee Min-jung (이민정), Park Sung-woong (박성웅)Release Date: November 19th, 2009

Review

“White Night” is a chất lượng and disturbing drama film adapted from the novel “Journey Under the Midnight Sun” by acclaimed mystery writer Keigo Higashino. Part police procedural & part Shakespearean tragedy, White Night” is a film of contrasts as the film’s title suggests. There’s a bright và beautiful exterior to the film that attempts to mask a dark malevolence. Far from being light popcorn fare, “White Night” challenges its viewers with themes of obsession, trauma, greed, & revenge. And lượt thích a bewitching nightmare, the film uses its exquisite visual aesthetic lớn keep eyes fixed on its cold và unforgiving narrative sầu.

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Detective Dong-soo (Han Suk-kyu) leads an investigation surrounding the peculiar death of a man aboard an abandoned ship. With the victlặng presumed khổng lồ have sầu been murdered by his extra marital lover who also turned up dead shortly thereafter, the case is forced shut. But several abnormalities regarding the respective victims’ school-aged children, Jia và Yo-han, push Dong-soo lớn pursue the case on his own. When mysterious & tragic circumstances arise, Dong-soo is left with unanswered questions that haunt him for years.

14 years later, now washed up and apathetic to lớn the world, Dong-soo is contacted by a young detective who sees a connection between a recent murder và his old case. With the possible involvement of a man named Yo-han (Go Soo), the son of his old murder victyên ổn, Dong-soo becomes intrigued and resolves to see the investigation through. But the situation appears more complex than he ever could have imagined when he discovers an aspiring fashion designer named Mi-ho (Son Ye-jin), who is also under investigation in regards lớn her fitness lớn be married khổng lồ a powerful business tycoon (Park Sung-woong), khổng lồ be mysteriously entwined in his pursuit of the killer.

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It’s hard khổng lồ write about the characters in “White Night” without giving away any spoilers. This has to lớn vì chưng with how each character’s past and motives slowly unfold as the movie ramps up. It’s safe to lớn say that each of the three main characters is damaged in their own way, và the time the film spends a lot of time revealing the various dimensions of each character’s personality. This is the meat và potatoes of “White Night.” The mystery is as intriguing as the page-turning novel its based on, & the jumping back & forth through time in regards to the two investigations allow for the clues to lớn reveal themselves in clever ways.

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The procedural side to lớn “White Night” is very svào. Carried hard by the incredible Han Suk-kyu (Christmas in August, Shiri) as detective sầu Dong-soo, the police work và investigative scenes are portrayed very well in both time eras. It was interesting to see the crude tactics & brash attitudes of the past alongside a more refined & methodical modern approach lớn dissecting a crime scene between the time shifts.

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The film also has a secondary investigation lead by Lee Min-jung’s (Cyrano Agency) character who’s tasked with following around Mi-ho (Son Ye-jin) to make sure she’s fit to lớn marry her boss. When the proverbial skeletons in the clomix start popping up left & right, it makes for a double procedural of sorts as it coincides with the murder investigation. The two investigations then ultimately cross paths in pretty spectacular fashion, making for some of the film’s best moments.

—Minor Plot Spoilers—

But the most interesting part of “White Night” is how it presents itself as a love tragedy. While not exactly clear on my first watch, it became the highlight on my subsequent viewing. The light versus dark nature of the two lovers is boldly portrayed in the lighting of settings they occupy (bright vs dark cafes và bedrooms), their clothing (Trắng dresses vs blaông xã hooded jackets), and even their lovemaking (tender vs rough). Mi-ho (Son Ye-jin) is delicate and distant while Yo-han (Go Soo) is visceral & intense. The death of their parents has them bonded in a kind of twisted dark fate that prevents their union. From both a narrative sầu & visual standpoint, this movie goes for broke and is rather chất lượng in its broader ambitions.

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—END Minor Plot Spoiler—

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The main disappointment I have sầu with “White Night” comes with some of the characterizations và their questionable motives. While childhood trauma could explain some of the film’s odder moments with its characters, both Son Ye-jin (The Classic, My Wife Got Married) and Go Soo (Love sầu 911, The Fortress) don’t get a lot of opportunity to show much acting range. Both actors come across as very distant và rigid in much of their scenes. While this helped lớn enhance the mystery surrounding their characters, it was not fun khổng lồ watch at times.

Overall, “White Night” is one of the rarer intense dramas whose script doesn’t come with all the built-in regular beats of a commercial movie. Much lượt thích 2017’s “Heart Blackened,” the pacing feels much more lượt thích a novel. It can move slow at times và with little action but remains engaging like a good page-turner should, holding true to lớn its roots in this way. “White Night” has been criticized & called confusing for its complex structuring, & it is probably true that it takes at least two viewings khổng lồ fully grasp và appreciate. But those up khổng lồ the challenge should be in for an experience not likely lớn be forgotten any time soon. SCORE: 7/10


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