April Snow

AKA: 외출/Outing

Should we have an affair, too? That’d make them flip!” – Seo Young

Wiki | HanCinema | IMDb

Starring: Bae Young Joon, Son Ye Jin

In-su (Bae Young Joon) is a lighting director whose life completely changes with a single phone call. His wife has been involved in an accident, and is in a coma. In the hospital he meets Seo Young (Son Ye Jin), and they discover that their partners were having an affair. As they wait for their respective spouses to regain consciousness, the two gradually become closer and decide to have an affair of their own…

The theme of this movie is loss, and as such, it has the pace of a bereft person slowly staggering through the darkness. Despite being a very slow movie with a lot of things shown instead of told, it’s absolutely beautiful. In the beginning, our two leads are heartbroken and angry. They want their partners to wake up so that they can demand why they cheated. The two gradually spend more time together as they can’t get out of seeing each other. Seo Young suggests having an affair as a joke, and it’s done more out of spite than anything else. The first bed scene is slow and hesitant. Would it be something they would later regret?

As it turns out, not at all. As In-su and Seo Young begin to learn more about each other, they find love along the way. What was initially started as revenge eventually became something real. But when In-Su’s wife wakes up, and Seo Young’s husband takes a turn for the worst, it seems that the two are destined to return to their original partners. The ending is ambiguous and leaves a lot for the viewer to decide for themselves. The title takes its name from a conversation the couple has on the beach, where Seo Young says that her favorite season is spring, but she loves snow. So In-Su suggests that maybe she’d only be truly happy if it snowed in April.

This movie was my first encounter with Bae Young Joon’s acting, and I am impressed. He has all the gentleness and hesitation that is appropriate for his character’s situation. He is also able to channel just the right amount of anger at his wife’s infidelity and despair at the feeling of not being good enough for her. The secondary theme of infidelity may make some uncomfortable, but I loved the way it was handled. In-su doesn’t understand his wife at all until he gets involved in his own “affair.” I put it in quotes because it technically is, considered his still married, but his partner has chosen someone else.

The movie gives off the feeling that there is some sort of mutual agreement or separation. That is, either In-su is given permission to continue the affair indefinitely (either by discussing it with his wife or not telling her), or he and his wife separate. She expresses her gratitude towards him for helping her get well despite what she did, yet retains an air of longing for her lover. [SPOILER!] Seo Young’s husband ends up dying. When In-su finally reveals this, his wife (whose name is Su Jin) starts sobbing. He leaves her alone in her hospital room to grieve. [/SPOILER]

Ye Jin’s role is that of a housewife, and she affects a meek air. She expresses her grief and anger in a much quieter way, giving the viewer the impression that she’s used to holding things in. She does chores out of habit, and must often be coaxed to speak, which gives the impression that she must have lived most of her life with her husband by herself or exchanging only a few words with him. When these two come together, their characters completely change. Bae Young Joon shows that In-Su can be playful and passionate, alternating between childlike and clearly adult. Son Ye Jin reveals that Seo Young has a mischievous streak while still being true to her heart.

These two people find in each other solace during sorrow and a love greater than any they may have experienced before.

Rating: 3.5/5

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