A most beautiful ending to a most stunning movie.
This scene appears at the end of the movie Duelist, after it’s been implied that Sad Eyes has passed away. Through a visual fabrication of Nam Soon, to help her cope with the loss of such a seemingly invincible man, this fighting scene symbolizes a confession of love, as well as a subsequent parting. In the beginning, the fight is still fuelled by anger and animosity, much like the dynamic in the relationship between the two throughout most of the movie. As the fight evolves, however, it becomes harder for them to keep their composure and even Sad Eyes, who despite his name has stayed rather apathetic the whole movie, becomes more responsive. What this scene hints at is that they’ve both fallen out of their fixed roles: they’re no longer just enemies, not simply “the criminal” and “the law”; through their attraction to each other they’ve evolved into more complex characters, and there’s no going back now that these feelings have sprouted. Confused by this newfound complexity and gender awareness, and unable to communicate their feelings for each other directly, they turn to the language they are both the most eloquent at and let their swords speak in their stead. “I had something I wanted to tell you,” Nam Soon says. Getting closer, almost to the point of embracing each other, what started as a fight becomes more and more like a dance.