Separated from his wife in England, author Chang-seok (Yeon Woo-jin) is back in Seoul, working on his next novel, and trying to work (and walk) through his complicated feelings about what he has left behind. He also has encounters (some by arrangement, others by chance) with four people whose names become the formal headings for the film’s first four chapters. As Chang-seok converses with each of them about ageing and memory, love and loss, truth and fiction, ever so gradually the focus shifts to Chang-seok himself.
Kim Jong-kwan’s assured feature concerns the stories we tell ourselves and each other to go on living in a world of sadness, death and oblivion. In this stylish, sophisticated set of slyly interweaving narratives (all told in a whisper), dreams and delusions slip into an otherwise realist frame, with a cumulative impact that is miraculous if also quietly devastating.