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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Night Light" Episode 7


And so, once again, I-kyeong's elaborate plan...doesn't really start just yet. We're still in the phase of manipulations so incredibly subtle it's impossible to guess what I-kyeong is trying to do in the short term, let alone the long. The woman has a pretty insane sense of patience. I-kyeong wants the job done right or she doesn't want it done at all- hence the (hopefully) final test where I-kyeong determines just how much resolve Se-jin has in the face of impossible odds.

Although is that really patience so much as it is foolhardiness? I'm surprised Se-jin is willing to put up with being jerked around so much at this point. I may be projecting though. So far "Night Light" has stretched out relatively little plot out over seven episodes so it's easy to get impatient. Granted, Se-jin does not have other options, as the humiliating ordeal at the convenience store demonstrates. But with the prospect of other potential allies, why not just turn traitor?

The answer to that, I think, is that Se-jin knows all too well her own limitations. She's a smart, capable woman whose main failure in life has been a lack of access to opportunity. Of course this is information we already knew. The scene of Se-jin begging for supplication at the hospital was already a pitch-perfect examination of the woman's weaknesses, so it seems a little pointless and even cruel to have her go through the ringer of self-doubt again.

This is especially true considering how generally unremarkable Se-jin's main task is here- which is really just to talk to Gun-woo. And we don't even know all that much about Gun-woo, except that he doesn't like the people he works with and is deeply unsettled by the icier aspects of I-kyeong's personality. Gun-woo's own personality is comparatively quite underdeveloped, which is rather frustrating considering how much of "Night Light" has just been running around in circles.

Maybe this is part of the point. Maybe we're supposed to see Gun-woo's worldview, not from his perspective or I-kyeong's, but through Se-jin trying to decide what her obligations to the world could or should be. If Se-jin is supposed to be the perspective character, though, then why have we seen so much of the larger plot through the disconnected lens of boring older characters? In the end it always leads to the same criticism- why is "Night Light" so slow?

Review by William Schwartz

"Night Light" is directed by Lee Jae-dong, written by Han Ji-hoon and features Lee Yo-won, Jin Goo, UEE, Choi Il-hwa, Choi Min and Shim Yi-young.

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