Hwaitŭ Pallentʻain

Hwaitŭ Pallentʻain

White Valentine

DVD - 2006 | Korean
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A girl named Jung-min writes to a young man named Hyun-jun, who is serving in the army. She lies about her age and claims to be a teacher. As this young lady turns twenty, a 30-year-old man, who has eyes filled with sadness moves into her village. Every night, he sends letters through a pigeon to a deceased woman he loved dearly. He sends them high up in the sky, knowing that he will never get a reply. Then one day, like magic, he receives a letter. The letters sent through pigeons reveal someone's loneliness and sadness. And the two people meet each other by sheer chance.
Publisher: South San Francisco, CA : Tai Seng Entertainment, 2006
Edition: Widescreen
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (101 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in
Alternative Title (Original Script): 白色人節

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d
dnk
Feb 03, 2018

Jung-Min and Hyun-Jun are both romantics who are trapped by their inability to act. Jung-Min is a twenty year old dropout who wants to draw, but she's discouraged by her disapproving grandfather. Hyun-Jun is a former trader turned animal caretaker suffering from the loss of his girlfriend and feels guilty because he ignored her in favor of a challenging finance career.

The two are bound by the correspondence they used to share when Hyun-Jun was in the army and Jung-Min was a student. Not wanting to appear too immature, she posed as a teacher, then got cold feet when she was to meet him in person because she couldn't maintain the ruse. The two are shyly attracted to each other when they first meet and bond over her dog. They correspond again, without knowing each other's identities, via a white carrier pigeon. Jung-Min discovers who he is close to the same time she discovers the truth about her parents and grandfather: her father was also an artist, and her mother suffered over his lack of practicality. When Hyun-Jun decides to leave their town and begin to live his life, she doesn't share the truth about their connection but leaves a drawing of a white bird that symbolizes their communication.

Years later, Hyun-Jun is an author who writes about birds and Jung-Min is an acclaimed children's author. When Hyun-Jun sees the book she wrote, he realizes she wrote about their story and, at last, that she was his pen pal. He returns to the town they lived as she's leaving. But is he too late?

As much as I wanted to sympathize with Jung-Min, I found her character whiny bordering on screechy. While I could understand her childish resentment of her grandfather, her immature behavior made me wonder why someone like Hyun-Jun could possibly grow to have any interest in her. On the other hand, Hyun-Jun, while understandably morose and easier to sympathize with, also lacked initiative through most of the movie, and when his older brother came to proverbially kick him in the pants, I agreed. Still, his scene coming home drunk into his messy apartment was well-done.

Finally, I found the ending very unsatisfying. While I don't mind filling in some blanks, I would like to know how something ends, and this didn't really do that. We can make some assumptions, but after sitting through their story, we shouldn't have to.

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