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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Night Light" Episode 8


Tak (played by Jung Hae-in) works for I-kyeong's crew as the general errand guy- driving, fights, what have you. He gets annoyed enough this episode to briefly take his fortunes elsewhere, as I-kyeong's vaguely antagonistic behavior has been starting to frustrate him. Tak is the character I empathize with the most at this point, because I too would rather be doing something else right this moment instead of trying to keep track of "Night Light"'s glacial pacing.

Even now that Se-jin is actually talking to Gun-woo, and provoking some degree of character reaction, even now a disproportionate amount of screen time is devoted to older characters discussing business deals in a surprisingly dry manner. The closest "Night Light" ever gets to exciting is when one of them starts to suffer from natural health proiblems exacerbated by stress. This is the least interesting thing they could possibly do. Even the old executive in "The Man In My House" made a straightforward threat every once in awhile.

"Night Light" has a dangerous seductive appeal. That is, in the sense that the cool make-up and powerful setpieces earlier in the drama implied that we were going to get into these awesome, high-stakes explosive adventures at the higher levels of Korean finance and instead it feels like we're the fly on the wall in a much of boring boardroom meetings. What little plot has already been exposited has been explained to death and back to the point of exhaustion.

Where are the big power plays? Look, at this point I'd settle for some ambitious editing to trick me into thinking that a scene is more interesting than it really is. It's hard to believe that people deciding the best way to effectively wave a gun around used to seem like fairly standard action in this drama. There isn't even any good characterization to take up the slack, because the three leads just don't have enough interplay to develop beyond their basic archetypes.

I swear it seems like I write this every week, but at what point are we going to get a clear grasp of what I-kyeong is even trying to do and why? All we really know is that she mostly dislikes everyone she knows. It makes sense for I-kyeong as a character to be taciturn, but it's just plain frustrating that no one in the production team has come up with a more efficient, exciting way to deliver exposition.

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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