A Good Rain Knows Review
In a way, I could say that A Good Rain Knows is about two friends who reunite for a few days – the end. Yet, there is something deeply moving about this film that stirs my heart the way a skipping stone lightly ripples the water it touches. A Good Rain Knows is a Korean film from 2009 with English, Chinese, and Korean spoken throughout. Outwardly simple, the film is quietly artistic. I rewound several of the scenes just because the cinematography was haunting. The way the lights twinkle in the mist, or the sight of the arches with falling spring petals – everything in this film, as ordinary as it may be on the outside, seems especially poignant.
Dong-Ha and May: A Layered Love Story
Korean architect Dong Ha travels to Chengdu, China on a business trip. While there, he unexpectedly runs into May, his friend from college. The film follows them over a few days reminiscing about their school days. May is completing her dissertation while working as a tour guide. She knows Dong-Ha wanted to be a writer, but life it seems has gone on…and they have gone on with it. It becomes clear they once had feelings for one another – and for reasons both slowly and all-at-once revealed, May appears less willing to remember than Dong Ha.
“The human heart can’t keep everything inside.”
A Good Rain Knows explores loneliness and love, friendship and grief, and how these things grow or fade as the steady pace of life rolls along. Some may say this film is slow – but it is all about the timing. Just like a good rain, their love knows when to come. Watching it unfold – and puzzling out the past – come together in just the right way.
A Good Rain Knows, So We Don’t Have To
A critique of this film might be that there is not really any background info to help the audience along, other than what Dong-Ha and May themselves tell us from their conversations. Yet, watching the film, what occurred to me was this: A good rain knows, so we don’t have to. It is enough that Dong-Ha and May remember. Their gentleness and comfortable silence around each other tell us all we need to know.
As I watched, I realized how little conversation of “real” importance occurred. Yet, this drew me further into the film, rather than farther away. A look, a name spoken, said far more. What is left unsaid is far more important and this is part of what gives A Good Rain Knows its allure. Step too hard on the story and its fragility cracks and dissipates into thin air.
“It really is the season of good rain. It’s a line from Du Fu’s poetry. It means a good rain knows when to come.”
This story is moving, understated, and melancholic. When the rain comes, it may be slow. It might not be a flood, but in this case, it is all the sweeter. Without giving anything away, I found the ending to be satisfying and fitting to the mood. Like the rest of the film, it left me thinking. Even the music of the closing credits flows with the air of the story. This film should be savored – let the story envelop you as scented morning fog. So fragile, if you look away once, it will be gone.
Content Note: I would say this movie is PG-13. There is a particularly sensual kiss scene ending in bed but they stop before anything else happens. They remain clothed and the scene is brief.
Where to Watch: A Good Rain Knows is available for streaming on Netflix.
Have you seen A Good Rain Knows? What did you think of this moving romance? I’d love to hear your thoughts below.
Photo Credit: Pancinema
“The stuff that dreams are made of.”
“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My
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