On the Occasion of Remembering the Turning Gate

On the Occasion of Remembering the Turning Gate ★★★★★

foretold failures and the dances around it, often as silent echoes between halves and poems of fervour - carrying inverted tropes and rediscovered affinity towards words meant in scorn or selfishness. hong's lens is far more grounded here, the inversion harsher than any that follow: a story of romance well past its time that has people dancing without music, singing without rhythm, drinking without getting drunk. hong alternates the very dance around a structure that is only talked about, never seen; allowing moments of intimacy to spur and promises to be made while being oblivious enough of their destined refutation the next morning.

kim sang-kyung's brilliance is marked by the several stares, gestures of refrain and words that expose his character's decay into chauvinism. and even in between all of its setups and repeated motifs that relay the hopelessness of miscalculated romance, The Turning Gate remains my favourite romance of all time -- simply because hong cares enough to recognize the sincerity of what his characters feel despite their glaring obnoxiousness. the ending which leaves me feeling completely hollow everytime I revisit it, is overt but never expository, driving home the idea (through a kim sang-kyung in rain aesthetic) that no amount of borrowed time would be enough to make the other person happy and perhaps then the other person's happiness is more important than something that could never be.

K Gopal liked these reviews