‘Sipjangsaeng’: A Romance Encountered In Dreams

What if the person who made you fall in love was merely a dream? When you wake up, will you remember her? 

The award-winning short film Sipjangsaeng” features Yu Eden and Sohn Su Yun and is helmed by Jung Jae Yon, which both won and received nominations at several film festivals in 2021–2022. The story depicts Eun-young, who is reserved, meeting Jay, who is gregarious and vibrant in her drawing class. Not only does Jay recognize Eun-young’s artistic ability, but she extends an invitation to her to her hidden sanctuary so that they can play in an isolated world. One day, Eun-young is unable to locate Jay, and the other pupils don’t appear to even be aware of his identity.

 

WARNING: Spoiler alert! Read at your own risk.

The film opens with Eun Young daydreaming in her art class. When the bell rings, she comes back to her senses but still can’t figure out what to draw. After class. Her classmate came to her and gave her a drink. She sat down beside her and took a look at her drawing. She praises her work and tells her that she notices that she always works overtime and that going to a big university will be easy for her. Eun Young asked for her name, and she answered ‘Jay’. The latter told her that she knew her name. Jay continuously praises her work, while Eun Yong can’t help but look at her. The latter noticed it, so she asked her if she had something to tell her, but before Eun Young answered, her phone rang.

After having another daydream, Eun Young awoke to find herself seated on the school stairs as Jay rushed into her. Before she can respond, Jay pulls her and takes her into a dimly lit room. The latter asks her if the principal scolded her. When the room filled with light from Jay’s lit candles, Eun Young was speechless to see so much art stuff. She referred to the spot as her “cave,” a secret location, as Jay told her. She responds, “Seven years,” when Eun Young asks how long she’s been there. Jay told her in a serious tone that she shouldn’t take the principal’s words seriously. She had tried it previously, but it had not helped.

In that cave, Jay told her she had a radio. A girl in their class confided in a fellow student about an unusual dream she experienced. Although she is aware that it isn’t real, it is quite realistic. Two girls were present in her fantasies. She mentioned that one of them uses a certain easel. In her drawing, she depicted a female without a face but with an odd resemblance to the other girl from the dream. A voice calling her name over the radio startled the girl and prevented her from looking at the painting. Jay noticed that Eun Young was clutching a bottle of medicine, and she was afraid, so she took it from her and left.

Jay unexpectedly contacted Eun Young in the art room, asking her to meet her at the beach to watch fireworks. However, she was taken aback when the latter led her to the rooftop. They lit a firecracker and enjoyed the fireworks show. That was when Eun Young felt most alive. She couldn’t resist hugging Jay, and that evening, the two consoled one another. Eun Young sits in front of a bonfire with her head resting on Jay’s shoulder. Jay looks out to sea as though she’s seen something unusual. A woman is dancing beneath a red light in Eun Young’s dream, and as she pauses, the word “WAKE” is inscribed on her lips.

 

Watch ‘Sipjangsaeng’ on GagaOOLala.

Eun Young picked up the remote control that the woman left on the floor. She noticed that Jay was silent and sad sitting on her desk, so she reached out to her. The latter told her that she got scolded by the principal again. To lighten her mood, Eun Young told her friend that she was a good artist and that they could be famous one day. She also planned to prank their principal by switching the TV remote controls, and since no one knows about their so-called cave, no one will find out that they did it. Jay walks closer to her and looks at her with seriousness in her eyes. She sat down, and Jay kneeled in front of her and said that her name was Han Jay. They’re studying at the same school, and she looks like that. She then asks her if she would be able to remember her face when she’s gone.

Jay closes her eyes and says that she can picture her even if her eyes are closed. Eun Young gets confused, so she asks her if she’s going somewhere, but instead of answering, Jay covers her eyes and asks her if she can draw her eyes closed. As soon as Eun Young touched her lips, Jay asked her to make a promise to remember her, and while Eun Young’s eyes were closed, she kissed her. She suddenly opened her eyes and noticed that Jay was not around. She asks her classmates if they saw Jay, but they say they don’t know her. She felt anxious, so she ran to their hideout to look for her. She cried when she heard Jay calling her name, and a moment later, she heard a loud noise, and the room went dark.

Eun Young saw Jay’s radio as she walked into a red room. Her eyes blurred as she heard enthusiastic applause from the audience. She snapped out of her daydream a little while later. In real life, Eun Young is an art teacher. She went to her therapist for therapy that day after class. She informed her doctor that her dreams remained the same. The physician prescribed Nozinan for her. Her friend invited her to the sea when she arrived home. With the TV on, she dozed off once more. Later, as she grasped the remote, she recognized that some of the things she had dreamed about were real.

The Nozinan, the friend asking her to go to the sea, and the remote control—everything happened to her in real life except Jay. She dreamed again, and this time, she saw Jay standing in front of her. She looked at her back as if she’d been waiting for Jay to face her. The film ends with Eun Young reaching out to Jay and giving her a lollipop. A moment later, she heard a sound again, and she became terrified.

Occasionally, we dream of things we would like to come true in our lives. Furthermore, there are moments when our imagination conjures up a different reality that only we understand. A world we hope we can live in forever. The movie showed us that even those who merely come into our dreams can occasionally have a significant influence on our lives. An effect that sometimes gave us the impression that we didn’t want to wake up.

 

Watch ‘Sipjangsaeng‘ in GagaOOLala which is now available to watch on your smart TVs! Just download the GagaOOLala app on Google Play, Amazon Appstore, and Roku.



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