Monday, May 04, 2020

[Review] Loss:Time:Life - The Last Chance (2019)

I honestly have no idea why am I doing this to myself, but here I am, after watching all installments. This episode was, at one point even a harder experience than the previous series. Why? Because the main character is only a high school kid here.

Yugeon is an angry kid, angry at the whole world. He lives alone as his father is working abroad. It is not explain where or what is he doing, we only know that he sends packages to the boy every once in a while but they are just piled up unopened. His teacher tries to channel this unresolved anger at sports - mainly at judo, so he appears during the training, completely uninterested in anything, despite the cautious attention given by Dongha, another student training judo and really good at it. 
Yugeon is angry at Sojin, his childhood friend, that she does not acknowledge him at school, ignoring the fact that she has just started working there as a teacher. So, after an altercation at school, he storms out to calm himself down.

And while riding his scooter he looses control, his helmet falls off and the time slows down and then stops. The same scene appears at the beginning and at the end of this short journey, like a buckle closing and tying the whole narrative. And it didn't hit me at the beginning, but it did at the end. The scenes shown while the time slows down around Yugeon as he dies - children playing, the flock of birds flying above, the boat with people on it - they were just a tragic memento that all of these will resume, will continue while his life is going to end: the birds will fly, the children will fall into the parents' embrace, the river will still flow.

And then he dies, in a stupid accident, but is given an additional time by the football referees. As the commentators said - he wasted a lot of time in his life, that's why he is given 12 hours. Faced with the irreversible end closing up, he decides to explain why he was so angry at Sojin - precisely because of the puppy love, without any real chances for coming true earlier (as she is pursued by Jinseong) and absolutely hopeless after the accident.

He opens up all the parcels his father sent him (magnets from various places around the world he places on the fridge), discouraging the man from coming to Korea after learning his son threw punches at another student (he had a good reason - he was upskirt recording Sojin during her class). He agrees to do the sparring with Dongha that was supposed to nominate the winner to go to the championships. He wins, but later tells Dongha he should participate and win in the competition. 
And he confesses to Sojin in an absolutely adorable way - in the mascot costume, borrowing the display from one of the referees to put the messages through it (like the one she deserves to demand love, I thought it was really, really an amazing line). But when she leaves the restaurant Jinseong took her to, the mascot is nowhere to be found.
And then, few minutes before his additional time ends, he goes back with the referees to his scooter, still hanging mid-air.

I knew it would not be an easy watch but damn, I did not expect it to be this hard. The inevitability of the death waiting for Yugeon and his frantic efforts to spend the remaining 12 hours of his life as fully as he could, tying up everything, was just painful to watch. It's like watching historical things knowing that one character is gong to die, and yet, there's this small part of my brain hoping against hope they could somehow survive. I honestly hoped that the "last chance" here would be more of the last chance to fix one's life given the death scare but not the actual death. 
And then we got the epilogue scene with Yugeon in college, openly pursuing Sojin. What could have been but never was...

It's on YouTube.