Waiting for love could make us miserable. It is the anticipation of an unknown miracle with low probability. When we see lovers and couples walking on the streets, we just hope for our miracle to find us soon. But we are also afraid that maybe such miracles would never happen to us or might not be helpful enough to become a miracle in someone’s life. Waiting for Rain is a story about waiting. It ignites the hope that some miracles are worth waiting for through its soulful and touching narrative.
Directed by Jo Jin-mo, Waiting for Rain (also titled Rain and Your Story) is a South Korean romantic film that follows a Cyrano de Bergerac narrative. Two pen pals communicate with each other without actually meeting in person. The story anticipates their meeting.
‘Waiting for Rain’ Plot Summary
Park Young-ho fails his examination due to his lack of understanding of mathematical problems. His father, Man-dol, runs a leather workshop in Seoul, and his brother is an accomplished white-collar guy. Young-ho’s brother wants him to work hard, step into the real world, and join In-Seoul college for a better future. But maybe, Young-ho doesn’t want to join the rat race.
In his second year gap, Young-ho writes a letter to his elementary school friend, Gong So-Yeon. In school, So-Yeon compassionately handed over a handkerchief to a bruised Young-ho. He still cherishes the gestures and wants to return So-Yeon’s handkerchief. Young-ho gets her address through a friend and sends a letter to a ‘Literary Friend Bookstore,’ in Busan. The bookstore is run by So-Yeon’s widowed mother and her younger sister, Gong So-hee.
So-hee receives Young-ho’s letter and reads it to her paralyzed sister, So-Yeon, who suffers from a chronic illness and has a short time to live. Through a communication bell, So-Yeon communicates that she doesn’t remember any Young-ho. So-hee writes the same in her reply letter, but due to some reasons, holds it back. Instead, So-hee initiates a conversation with Young-ho using So-Yeon’s name. She also lays some ground rules to not meet in person or try to visit each other. Slowly, Young-ho and So-hee start liking each other, but Young-ho doesn’t know that the girl he is writing to isn’t the real So-Yeon.
‘Waiting for Rain’ Ending Explained
During his second gap year, Young-ho befriended a classmate, Soo-jin, who liked him beyond anything else. However, Young-ho couldn’t think about anyone else except Gong So-Yeon. In her letters, So-hee (as So-Yeon) promised Young-ho to meet on December 31 if it rains. Thus, Young-ho hopefully waited for the rains on December 31, wishing for a miracle to happen so that he could finally meet the love of his life, in person. But for 8 straight years, the miracle didn’t happen.
By the end of his second year, Young-ho realized that he doesn’t have a knack for maths. He dropped the idea of going to college and went to Japan to learn the trade of umbrella designing. On his return, he opened an umbrella store and spent his year waiting for Rain on December 31.
In Busan, So-Yeon died due to her illness. After her demise, So-hee didn’t open So-Yeon’s last letter. She wrote a letter to Young-ho, communicating that So-hee, her sister, wrote letters on behalf of paralyzed So-Yeon. However, she didn’t have enough courage to post the letter. Her mother took a break from the bookstore, and So-hee renovated the store with flashy magazines in between these years.
After 8 years, Young-ho discovered that So-Yeon had already died, and all his waiting was just a futile effort. He was devastated. In Busan, the bookworm at So-hee’s bookstore revealed that he arranged a call between So-Yeon and Young-ho. After this call, the last letter from Young-ho was received, and So-hee never opened it.
So-hee finally opened the letter and discovered that Young-ho promised to wait for her every December 31. The date also happened to be So-hee’s birthday, and she was missing her sister dearly. So-hee thought that Young-ho might still be waiting for her, but she wanted a gesture, a rain on December 31, to make a move. In Seoul, information about So-Yeon’s death crushed Young-ho, and he decided to leave the last letter on the park bench and end his waiting forever.
In the end, it finally rained on December 31. Young-ho ran back to the bench, witnessing his miracle. He waited for So-Yeon to finally come and visit him. On Seoul-Busan highway, a confused So-hee was waiting for a miracle too, and it rained. She took the left turn towards Seoul to meet her beloved lover.
Did they meet? The last shot visualized a car entering the park. The makers decided to keep a suggestive ending.
Post Credit Sequence
The post-credit sequence revisited the annual sports day, the day on which Young-ho first met So-Yeon. The short scene suggested that So-Yeon had a chronic illness and never took part in sports competitions. Her sister, So-hee, wore So-Yeon’s uniform and handed a handkerchief to Young-ho on sports day. Young-ho read the name tag on her uniform that was labeled Gong So-Yeon. But the girl in the uniform was So-hee. Hence, Young-ho actually met So-hee that day and got confused with the name.
In a nutshell, So-hee thought she lied to Young-ho, but in reality, she never did. Young-ho was always infatuated by So-hee’s gesture. Like Shakespeare wrote, “What’s in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.’
Waiting for Rain is a 2021 South Korean Romantic film directed by Jo Jin-mo and written by Yoo Seong-Hyun.