My Name is Loh Kiwan Ending Explained

Summary

  • Loh Kiwan and Lee Marie find happiness together, overcoming their struggles and past traumas in a heartwarming ending.
  • The film delves into the harsh reality faced by refugees and houseless individuals, shedding light on the challenges they endure.
  • My Name is Loh Kiwan highlights the fact that everyone is deserving of happiness, even in the face of immense hardships.



Netflix’s K-drama My Name Is Loh Kiwan can be brutally tragic, but it luckily makes up for all its heartbreak with a much lighter ending. My Name is Loh Kiwan is not based on a true story, though its plot and characters are quite realistic. The film follows Loh Kiwan, a North Korean defector, as he adjusts to life as a houseless person in Belgium and awaits his official refugee status. The movie stars Song Joong-ki as Loh Kiwan and Choi Sung-eun as Lee Marie, a mismatched, down on her luck woman who ends up falling in love with Loh Kiwan after stealing his wallet.

My Name is Loh Kiwan has an intriguing premise and more than a few heartbreaking moments, and it could quickly become one of the best Korean dramas on Netflix. The movie blended elements of romance and drama together to create an incredibly compelling story with captivating characters. Even though it was primarily a drama, it could also become one of the best romance movies on Netflix because of its ending.


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Loh Kiwan And Lee Marie End Up Together

Lee Marie (Choi Sung-eun) and Loh Kiwan (Song Joong-ki) embrace on a beach at the end of My Name is Loh Kiwan

In a rare happy moment in an otherwise quite sad movie, Loh Kiwan and Lee Marie were able to be together at the end. There were several moments where it did not seem like their relationship could survive, but they were both able to persevere. The country Lee Marie fled to was never revealed, but Loh Kiwan was able to find her again once he could leave Belgium. My Name is Loh Kiwan ended with the couple embracing on a beach, far away from the problems they had in Belgium.


Lee Marie Forgave Lee Youn-sung For Her Mother’s Death

Lee Marie (Choi Sung-eun) hugs Lee Youn-sung (Cho Han-cheul) from the back seat of the car, with both characters crying in My Name is Loh Kiwan

Lee Marie was mad at her father throughout My Name is Loh Kiwan, because she believed Lee Youn-sung had euthanized her mother. At the end of the movie, though, she was able to forgive him for his actions. A flashback revealed that Lee Marie’s mother had asked Lee Youn-sung to end her suffering, and to keep it a secret from their daughter. Lee Marie forgave Lee Youn-sung because she had also wanted to end her mother’s suffering, which she had never admitted. Her revelation showed that while she was hurt that her mother was gone, she also understood why her father would do such a thing.


Loh Kiwan Received Refugee Status

Loh Kiwan (Song Joong-ki) wears a translator ear piece and stands in front of a microphone during his trial to determine if he applies for Belgian refugee status in My Name is Loh Kiwan

Loh Kiwan had to abandon his refugee status hearing to save Lee Marie from the gamblers who were extorting her. While his heroics saved her life, they also left the status of his refugee application up in the air. Loh Kiwan did receive his refugee status, but not until after Lee Marie had to flee Belgium. Since he wasn’t officially designated a refugee until later, he couldn’t go on the plane with her and had to wait for the courts to decide.


Loh Kiwan also became a refugee despite his coworkers at the meat packing plant betraying him earlier in the movie. As Kim Seon-ju explained, she had to say that Loh Kiwan was actually Chinese and not a North Korean defector to keep her job at the plant. She was lied to, though, her visa was revoked, and she and her family were deported anyway. Kim Seon-ju redeemed herself in the end, though, as she gave Loh Kiwan the newspaper article that definitively proved he was a North Korean defector. That, coupled with help from the attorneys and the advocacy group, let Loh Kiwan stay in Belgium.

Why Loh Kiwan Left Belgium And What It Means For His Refugee Status Explained

Loh Kiwan (Song Joong-ki) buys a plane ticket to leave Belgium at the end of My Name is Loh Kiwan

Loh Kiwan didn’t enjoy his refugee status in Belgium for long, though. My Name is Loh Kiwan skipped forward a year in the story to show that Loh Kiwan was buying a plane ticket. As he stated in the scene, his rights as a refugee would not follow him to other countries, and he would likely become poor again and have to start the process over once again once he got to his destination. That didn’t matter to Loh Kiwan, though, as he never truly wanted a country, he wanted a home. He found his home in Lee Marie, so he followed her once he was able.


Why Loh Kiwan Saw His Mother Again

Loh Kiwan literally let go in both scenes, but he only metaphorically let go at the end, as he had finally come to terms with his mother’s death.

At the end of the movie, Loh Kiwan’s mother, Ok Hee, appeared beside him at a crosswalk. She had died earlier in the movie, when she was hit by a truck while trying to help Loh Kiwan escape from the police in China. Up to that point in the movie, Loh Kiwan had been living in her honor, as it was her dying wish that he go on without her and find a life worth living. Ok Hee appeared to Loh Kiwan again because Loh Kiwan had finally found a life of his own, and he found a reason to move forward with Lee Marie.


In the scene at the crosswalk, Ok Hee stayed behind even though Loh Kiwan tried to pull her forward by the hand. That paralleled Ok Hee’s death at the beginning of the movie, as Loh Kiwan had to let go of her hand to get away from the police that were pursuing him. Loh Kiwan literally let go in both scenes, but he only metaphorically let go at the end, as he had finally come to terms with his mother’s death.

My Name Is Loh Kiwan’s True Meaning Explained

Loh Kiwan (Song Joong-ki) and Lee Marie (Choi Sung-eun) hold hands as they walk towards the airport gate at the end of My Name is Loh Kiwan


Throughout the movie, Loh Kiwan and Lee Marie both had unspeakable things happen to them. They endured pain, abuse, poverty, addiction, and the death of a loved one. At one point, Lee Marie asks Loh Kiwan if people like them are even deserving of happiness. The main message of My Name is Loh Kiwan answers that question with a resounding yes, as both Loh Kiwan and Lee Marie were able to find happiness in each other precisely because they persevered in life. My Name is Loh Kiwan also has an important lesson about forgiving oneself for the past and focusing on the future.

My Name is Loh Kiwan also offers a heartbreaking glimpse into the experiences of refugees and houseless people. Throughout the movie, people around Loh Kiwan treated him like dirt, such as the kids who beat him up in the park and the two drunk men who pushed him around and blamed him for their injuries. It also shows the failings of the refugee application system, as Loh Kiwan was forced to live in the cold for weeks while the gears of bureaucracy turned. When he asked how he would survive the Belgian winter, the translator only told him to “hang in there.”


My Name is Loh Kiwan told a very realistic story about some very serious topics, but that dark subject matter only made the happy ending even better. After all the hardships Loh Kiwan and Lee Marie had to go through, their reunion on the beach felt well-earned and entirely satisfying. My Name is Loh Kiwan has a unique and interesting blend of advantages, and it uses them all superbly, wrapping up the story and its characters nicely in its final minutes.

My Name Is Loh Kiwan Movie Poster

My Name Is Loh Kiwan (2024)

I Am Loh Kiwan is a South Korean drama film written and directed by Kim Hee-jin for Netflix, released in 2024. A man looking to defect from North Korea to Belgium faces an uphill battle to start a new life as a refugee in a foreign land. On his journey, however, he meets a woman whom he attempts to rally back into good spirits.

Director
Kim Hee-jin

Release Date
March 1, 2024

Cast
Song Joong-ki , Choi Sung-eun

Runtime
133 Minutes