The Day He Arrives Reviews

  • Dec 26, 2016

    Sang-soo evokes thoughts about human relations and the randomness of existence through his muted and self-deprecating characters in such a casual and dryly comedic way it deserves praise.

    Sang-soo evokes thoughts about human relations and the randomness of existence through his muted and self-deprecating characters in such a casual and dryly comedic way it deserves praise.

  • Jul 03, 2015

    Sang-soo Hong's endlessly fascinating study of "identity" "time" and human connection. Somehow connected to and similar to the Film Art that came to the world via La Nouvelle Vague -- this film is essentially a filmmaker taking a seemingly mundane walk in a village of Seoul in which he encounter old friends, lovers and strangers. It is never clear is this is one day, several days or one day presented in various combinations. It is equally unclear why the filmmaker, "Seongjun" is unable to distinguish at least two of the women. It this meant to show is conflict regarding women or is this a reflection back to him of how he feels women perceive him? It is woozy and challenging proposition of film that is ultimately a study of a man who has somehow lost the ability to connect and form meaningful human condition. The fact that it is filmmaker experiencing this is all the more potent.

    Sang-soo Hong's endlessly fascinating study of "identity" "time" and human connection. Somehow connected to and similar to the Film Art that came to the world via La Nouvelle Vague -- this film is essentially a filmmaker taking a seemingly mundane walk in a village of Seoul in which he encounter old friends, lovers and strangers. It is never clear is this is one day, several days or one day presented in various combinations. It is equally unclear why the filmmaker, "Seongjun" is unable to distinguish at least two of the women. It this meant to show is conflict regarding women or is this a reflection back to him of how he feels women perceive him? It is woozy and challenging proposition of film that is ultimately a study of a man who has somehow lost the ability to connect and form meaningful human condition. The fact that it is filmmaker experiencing this is all the more potent.

  • Apr 23, 2015

    There's great stuff here, it just doesn't coalesce into a cohesive whole. And yes, that's a weird thing to say about a film that by design isn't cohesive. But there's surreal films where you feel like you're riding the wave, and there's surreal films where you feel like you're getting tossed around. This is the latter. Which, is a shame, because like I said, there's some really great stuff here. Honest scenes with clever camera moves and raw acting. Worth seeing, for sure, but don't expect to feel full after.

    There's great stuff here, it just doesn't coalesce into a cohesive whole. And yes, that's a weird thing to say about a film that by design isn't cohesive. But there's surreal films where you feel like you're riding the wave, and there's surreal films where you feel like you're getting tossed around. This is the latter. Which, is a shame, because like I said, there's some really great stuff here. Honest scenes with clever camera moves and raw acting. Worth seeing, for sure, but don't expect to feel full after.

  • Nov 19, 2014

    Dialogue heavy art-house film with a low-key atmosphere but explores different relationships well.

    Dialogue heavy art-house film with a low-key atmosphere but explores different relationships well.

  • May 30, 2014

    Similar to In Another Country, but for some reason I liked this one a bit more. There's just something about it that made me enjoy it, when I'm usually not into this sort of thing.

    Similar to In Another Country, but for some reason I liked this one a bit more. There's just something about it that made me enjoy it, when I'm usually not into this sort of thing.

  • Walter M Super Reviewer
    Apr 04, 2014

    In "The Day He Arrives," Sungjoon(Jun-Sang Yu) decides to take off some time from his day job as a film director to visit Seoul, so he can look up some old friends. First is Kyungjin(Bo-kyeong Kim), an old flame. Then there is Youngho(Sung Jung Kim) who does not recognize the feelings he has for Boram(Seon-mi Song). The only things that really set apart "The Day He Arrives" from Sang-soo Hong's other films is that it is filmed in black and white and is set in Seoul. But aside from a few exterior shots and a civil defense drill, this could have just easily been Omaha. Perhaps realizing that he is simply repeating himself, Sang-soo Hong decided to make the entire movie one whole long Mobius Strip which you have to admit is kind of different. And actually not that long at 78 minutes.

    In "The Day He Arrives," Sungjoon(Jun-Sang Yu) decides to take off some time from his day job as a film director to visit Seoul, so he can look up some old friends. First is Kyungjin(Bo-kyeong Kim), an old flame. Then there is Youngho(Sung Jung Kim) who does not recognize the feelings he has for Boram(Seon-mi Song). The only things that really set apart "The Day He Arrives" from Sang-soo Hong's other films is that it is filmed in black and white and is set in Seoul. But aside from a few exterior shots and a civil defense drill, this could have just easily been Omaha. Perhaps realizing that he is simply repeating himself, Sang-soo Hong decided to make the entire movie one whole long Mobius Strip which you have to admit is kind of different. And actually not that long at 78 minutes.

  • Feb 02, 2014

    Was I in an extraordinarily good mood this morning, or is this film not every bit as delightful and clever as it appeared? Is anything as simple as it first appears? I can't think of another film where interpersonal tensions are layered so effectively... Which is to say, there's some unexpected mindfucking going on, but the real prize here is the portrayal of an artist's quirkiness. Is running away from people drunk in a parking lot quirky, or just crazy? How many of us could see ourselves doing that? Show of hands...

    Was I in an extraordinarily good mood this morning, or is this film not every bit as delightful and clever as it appeared? Is anything as simple as it first appears? I can't think of another film where interpersonal tensions are layered so effectively... Which is to say, there's some unexpected mindfucking going on, but the real prize here is the portrayal of an artist's quirkiness. Is running away from people drunk in a parking lot quirky, or just crazy? How many of us could see ourselves doing that? Show of hands...

  • May 08, 2013

    For some reason a few plot points were lost in translation for me while watching, but as a movie with a thesis seemingly about building sexual tension "The Day He Arrives" is terrific. It's also, if you're paying attention to the cinematography, a film filled with non-traditional long takes that allow its actors a chance to really showcase their talents and become the characters.

    For some reason a few plot points were lost in translation for me while watching, but as a movie with a thesis seemingly about building sexual tension "The Day He Arrives" is terrific. It's also, if you're paying attention to the cinematography, a film filled with non-traditional long takes that allow its actors a chance to really showcase their talents and become the characters.

  • Jan 14, 2013

    I'm definitely going to have to check out more of Sang-soo Hong's filmography after this.

    I'm definitely going to have to check out more of Sang-soo Hong's filmography after this.

  • Greg S Super Reviewer
    Dec 04, 2012

    A director arrives in Seoul to meet an old friend; he gets drunk, meets various people, and then situations start to repeat with variations, characters who've met before act like they've never been introduced, and he meets a bar owner who looks and acts exactly like his ex-girlfriend. Well made but it's never clear what the movie is trying to say or, more importantly, why we should care.

    A director arrives in Seoul to meet an old friend; he gets drunk, meets various people, and then situations start to repeat with variations, characters who've met before act like they've never been introduced, and he meets a bar owner who looks and acts exactly like his ex-girlfriend. Well made but it's never clear what the movie is trying to say or, more importantly, why we should care.