The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling

Flash Review: Two Lights: Relúmĭno

31 Comments

The great thing about running a drama blog, is that I make lots of drama friends (you guys! ❤ ), and as my drama friends get to know me, they start pointing me in the direction of shows that they know will likely be up my ally.

Shout-out to big blog supporter and cheerleader sarahlantz, who sent me a link to this short film – thank you m’dear, you do know my taste in shows. 😉

This mini movie turned out to be so much more than a glorified Samsung CF, that I just had to tell you guys about it.

WHAT IT’S ABOUT

In Soo (Park Hyung Sik) suffers from Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) and is slowly losing his sight. He joins a photography club for the visually impaired, where he meets Soo Young (Han Ji Min). Our story touches on their individual struggles with their physical limitations, as well as covers their growing bond as they get to know each other better.

MANAGING EXPECTATIONS

To maximize your viewing pleasure, here are just a handful of things to keep in mind as you approach this one.

1. This is, after all, a short film made by Samsung to promote Relúmĭno, Samsung’s visual aid application for people with visual impairment. So expect that the device will appear in more than a couple of scenes. Happily, this is done in a fairly unobtrusive manner, and I personally found its appearance woven quite organically into our narrative.

2. The film’s running time is only 30 minutes, so things can feel a touch abrupt, on the relationship development front. Still, I find that par for the course, for a movie short of this nature, and it didn’t bother me too much.

WHAT I LIKED

Here’s a quick spotlight on the things that I enjoyed about this little filmlet.

1. Our leads are visually-impaired.

While we’ve been seeing more physically &/or intellectually challenged characters on the dramascape lately, these characters tend to cede the spotlight to main characters who are sound in mind and body. I found it refreshing to have a pair of visually impaired characters take the spotlight this time, as our OTP. Not only that, most of the characters in this drama world are living with some kind of visual disability or other physical disability. Show treats them with a sensitivity and respect that feels distinct, yet subtle, and I liked that a lot.

2. Show is prettily shot.

A warm color palette, combined with a nice number of outdoor scenes featuring the beach, greenery, and clear blue skies, means that Show is quite lovely to look at, a lot of the time.

3. Our story is sensitively written.

Show isn’t ever heavy-handed, even as it showcases the struggles that our characters face as they learn to live with their disability, and I appreciated that. In particular, I liked how In Soo’s awkwardness, as he seeks to retain his independence while he navigates his newly-darkened world, is handled with a gentle touch.

4. Park Hyung Sik and Han Ji Min are very good.

Both Park Hyung Sik and Han Ji Min put in believable performances as visually impaired characters. They brought In Soo and Soo Young’s clumsy-yet-endearing interactions to life, and I believed them as this pair of characters. In addition, I thought that they share a reasonable amount of chemistry for our story (although, I should probably clarify that it’s far from the chemistry that Park Hyung Sik shares with Park Bo Young in Strong Woman Do Bong Soon – but that’s a whole other story).

CLOSING THOUGHTS

In the end, we are treated to a closing that is marked with reunions, warmth and light. In Soo and Soo Young finally find each other again, and share awkward shy kisses while their friends look on with gladness and affection. It’s a little cheesy, but it’s sweet nonetheless, and I found myself smiling alongside our characters as they celebrated this newly minted couple.

All in all, I liked Show’s message of perseverance, independence and hope amid the darkness; that your life doesn’t have to be dark and gloomy just because you can’t physically see; that there is lots to enjoy in life and love, when you choose to see with your heart.

THE FINAL VERDICT:

Warm, sensitive and sweet. Perfect for a quick drama snack.

FINAL GRADE: B+

TEASER:

MV:

WATCH IT HERE:

…And remember to stay for the epilogue right at the end, for some bonus warm fuzzies.

Author: kfangurl

Proud to be a k-fangirl since 2007. Main diet of kdramas with movies and kpop on the side.

31 thoughts on “Flash Review: Two Lights: Relúmĭno

  1. I found this short movie about 3 months ago, and I really love it! These words below is what I post in my facebook wall, and I’d like to share it with you and everyone reading your wonderful blog. I hope you don’t mind.

    I found this short movie to be profoundly touching. It is about people with low vision, and how they live their life struggling with mundane things that many of us take for granted. People with low vision are the other of Other, but not the Same, for they don’t fit into either category of normal-sighted nor blind. They are in-between people due to the specific way they have to do in order to see. Blind people cannot see at all, so the issue stops there (or raises different issues altogether). But low-visioned people still have the ability to see, though limited, and it just add to the complication they have to go through. This movie portrays this issue in a simple yet poignant way, that such issue which can turn melodramatic and depressing in some way, turned into something cheerful and positive. They are people like the rest of you, just experience the world in their own unique way. They hope, fear, learn, dream, and love like all of you do.

    I believe it could be a 30-minutes of eye-opening experience much needed by everyone’s soul. Embrace differences. Be grateful. Don’t take anything for granted. Be loving. Be compassionate towards others, no matter how different they are from you. These are, in part, what I learned from this movie.

    PS: Oh I think you forget to mention the Epilogue after the credit title. I can’t recommend it more highly. Very short, yet I leave with a puffy eyes, but a content heart and a peaceful mind.

    Liked by 2 people

    • And one more thing. If you didn’t mention it, I would probably never know that this is a promotional for a product. I did suspect that this is some kind of promotional video, but I failed to guess what kind of product they are promoting. That is the extent to how seamless they woven the product into the story. Bravo!

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      • Ah, I’m glad you liked this one, Widya! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your facebook thoughts in your comment as well, beautifully put indeed. And I totally agree, this one is much weightier than its short running time would suggest. So many lessons offered, in such a subtle and sensitive manner.

        I agree, the product was woven into the narrative very well.. I knew ahead of time that it was a movie for the Relúmĭno, but otherwise, as you said, I might not have noticed. It was that organic to the story, and there was no obvious product shot that screamed, “pay attention, this is the product we are selling!” Really nicely done, on that front.

        Thanks for the reminder on the epilogue; I’ve just included an additional line to prompt folks to wait for the epilogue. Thanks for that! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  2. oh, it’s so humbling that you gave my name, Fangirl:) I love this short not only for the beautiful scenes and lovely acting, but because the darkness is something many of us can relate to.

    It may not be actual blindness – which is treated here with such gentle respect – but depression. There are faint voices that we hear that try to help, just as Relumino does for the blind. It is far from a 100% cure, but any help is worthy of mention.

    I’m so glad you enjoyed it, and I hope your blog bring some others to this lovely, sensitive film.

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    • Aw, of course I’d want to give you a shout-out; I wouldn’t have known about this little gem of a film short if not for you! ❤ Thanks to you pointing this one to me, I already know of at least 2 people who've since checked it out and loved it. Thank you! 😘

      And what a lovely layer of perspective you've added, with your insightful comment. I totally agree that many people who struggle with darkness would be able to relate to the themes in this movie. 🙂

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  3. Park Hyung-shik always reminds me of Hwanhee from Fly to the Sky. But Hwanhee’s voice is far superior.

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    • I totally had to look that up, that’s how noob I am with the music scene! 😂 I’ll be sure to listen to some of Fly to the Sky’s music, if Hwanhee’s voice is so good! 😊 Park Hyung Sik is way better at the acting than I generally expect from idol actors, so I’m hoping he’ll take on more acting roles 😍

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      • Agreed. Park Hyung Sik was admittedly the reason I gave this little film a shot. But I love his voice! I guess that’s because I love classical. Still, with his acting, I hope we get see more of it. Looking forward to “suits.”
        I swear though, if he pulls a Joo Won and performs in an incredible musical I’d actually watch, ie “Suits,” it’s all over. I’m moving to S. Korea! Husband will come for the overwatch scene.

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        • Lol. I can feel your Park Hyung Sik love from ALLLL the way over here! 😂 He is very lovely though, so I completely understand! 😉

          Liked by 1 person

          • I actually just finished SWDBS a little while ago, so yes, I have a bias. And I checked out Park Hyung Sik’s band and they just aren’t to my my taste. So there’s at something in which I’m like “bleh.” 🤗

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            • That’s perfectly ok, in my books! 😉 I realize that my fangirl love doesn’t take me very far, when it comes to meh shows. I couldn’t finish Uncontrollably Fond, even for Woob. And, that show even managed to deplete me of most of my Woob loyalty. So I conclude that my fangirl love isn’t very strong, ha! I really liked Park Hyung Sik in High Society, even though the show itself was unremarkable. I wouldn’t recommend High Society as a show, but if you’re hungry for more Park Hyung Sik, maybe having a go at it with liberal use of the FF function might be worthwhile! 😅

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      • Well, I’m a bit biased because I like Hwanhee and Fly to the Sky, but mostly their older albums (I recommend the 3rd, 4th and 5th albums). They had a bit of an R&B vibe going and had some really great songs (+ some pretty hilarious MVs). I also like that their voices were very distinct so you knew who sang what, and together they sounded good.

        Park Hyung-shik is a pretty decent idol actor, at least going by Strong Woman Do Bong-soon. His singing voice is a bit too light for my taste though.

        Some of my FTTS faves:
        Seub gwan:

        Goodbye:

        Sea of Love (this MV is hilarious):

        Rains (Hwanhee solo):

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hyung Sik has a magnificent voice! It’s high falsetto when it’s required, but I think he’s actually a low baritone. They can switch between. Check out these pipes:

          That’s actually him. I wish I could have seen him in Phantom of the Opera. And he’s in a boy band. Guy has range.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Haha yeah, I know that was him (and that he’s in a boy band). A lot of the ad-libs in that drama were quite fun. I know he sang a song for the OST, but it didn’t grab me. I’m not really into boy bands though. FTTS was an exception.

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            • I don’t like boy bands either, tbh. I’ve liked a few songs here and there (“Fiction” by Beast is prolly my favorite, or “Freeze” by the same). I’m shamelessly classical. Which is another reason I wholeheartedly agree with the A++ given by Fangirl to “Secret Love Affair.”

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              • I like classical too – Nodame Cantabile is love. Only saw bits of Secret Love Affair, wasn’t really keen on the leads.

                Liked by 1 person

                • I loooved everything about N Cantabile except (a BIG except – she ruined it for me) for Naeil (sp?). Very possibly the most obnoxious character in any KDrama I’ve seen, and that’s saying something. I guess it’s because I’ve been through musical trauma and it’s sad that she didn’t bounce back, but there are healthy ways to deal with trauma. All the stupid suits she wears, trying to get a mean boy’s attention…id rather marathon “Playful Kiss.”

                  That said, Joo Won was great in his role according to the manga (manwha?) and park Bo Gum stole my heart because he played the injured cellist to a T (I’d know, I had that same injury). Loved those two characters to bits!

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                  • Um, when I wrote Nodame Cantabile, I meant the original Japanese adaptation with Ueno Juri and Tamaki Hiroshi. The classical music selection was spot-on and reflected the characters’ growth both personally and professionally. Nodame was ditzy and lovable, and became Chiaki’s inspiration and emotional support in ways he could never have imagined when they first met. Likewise, Chiaki was an important catalyst for Nodame to realise her own potential and break out of her rut.

                    The k-remake was crap and does not exist for me.

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        • Thanks for sharing these, junny! Saved me from trawling YouTube to find their most popular songs! 😘 I think I like the Hwanhee solo most, of the bunch. It has the most interesting sound, I think. And it’s true, his voice is different from Park Hyung Sik’s. Which is all good, since music appreciation is particularly subjective. 🙂 Thanks for putting Fly to the Sky on my radar!

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  4. What a great little movie! It was so sweet, and the respect and tenderness that they addressed the characters with was touching. You could really feel the contrast with the old woman who was trying to force her pity and help on Han Ji Min’s character. It was a great “don’t be that guy” (or old lady) teaching moment. Oh, and Park Hyung Shik and Han Ji Min are both so lovely to look at, now I want them together in a full-length show!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes, this was unexpectedly lovely! So much respect and sensitivity in the writing and the general handling. ❤️ I so agree, that encounter with the old lady was a great teaching moment. Well-intentioned, but inadvertently disrespectful and insensitive. Han Ji Min is sometimes a miss for me depending on the role, but she was really good in this. And Park Hyung Sik has consistently stolen my heart in each of his shows, so yes, I’d love to see more of him for sure ❤️

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  5. Thank you for posting this! I watched it yesterday and loved it. (**Spoilers if you haven’t seen it ) —-One scene that stuck with me is how in the beginning she tries to help him with the stairs and he refuses then later on the older lady tries to help her down a flight of stairs and how unsettling it was for her.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m so glad you liked this one, Kelly! 😀 And what a great observation! Yes, that was ironic, and says so much about how we see ourselves, vs. how we see others. On top of that, it also demonstrates that just because we are in the same situation as someone else, it doesn’t automatically make us suitably empathetic. Thanks for sharing! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What a sweet little “snack!” I loved that he’s a piano tuner. A job you can still do with low or no vision. Yes, I agree, so convincingly played. And I totally laughed when everyone kept saying how good looking he was. If that were a RL person, that would get old quick. Thanks for another great recommendation!

    >

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    • I’m glad you liked this one!! 😀 And you’re so right; it WOULD get old real quick, if he’d been a real person with vision issues and was constantly told how good-looking he was. >.< I'm really quite impressed with Park Hyung Sik; he's wayy better at the acting than I would generally expect from someone whose day job is being an idol!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: 33. TWO LIGHTS: RELUMINO (2017) – KDrama Feels

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