23 November 2014

Movie Review: Night Flight 야간비행

All of the marketing material for this movie was misleading, like this poster. The framing conveys one message where, in fact, in the storyline, it is much more brutal and tragic. As Emily Dickenson once noted: 'Parting is all we know of heaven and all we need of hell.'

Having watched so many of the Japanese yaoi television stories in the last year, one forgets about another vision, a dark vision or truth for a gay adolescence where gay love must struggle for life in the dark, horrible world of sadism, patriarchy, heterosexism, abuse of power and greed.

A summary of the story: Yong-Joo is a top student as a high school somewhere in Seoul. His teachers' hope is that qualifies and enters Seoul University. Ki-Woong is the leader of the gang at the high school and also a part-time "enforcer" for the local neighborhood mafia. Yong-Joo and Ki-Tae are like the geeky nerd friends in the high school. Other guys in Yong-Joo's gang pick on Ki-Tae because he's fat and wears thick glasses. Yong-Joo is definitely in love with Ki-Woong and practically stalks him. When a series of events occur that set the stage for the movie.

I won't give away the ending, but what I'm about to say can constitute a spoiler so, stop reading now if you want to be totally surprised. This movie represents a turn in gay Korean cinema. It is violent, brutal and passionate. But in the end, we are given a choice whether we choose power or we choose love. This seems to be the first movie where the characters are allowed to make that choice. A set closer to a life of happiness.

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