My first Sang-soo Hong film.
Many people tend to describe this as a "South Korean Groundhog Day" wich can be deeply inaccurate but I don't fault them because it is also pretty close.
When you watch it you will get the sense our protagonist is repeating his day again and again. But there are hints that he might no be repeating the same exact day and even some hints we might be seeing many separate days in no exact chronological order.
But perhaps the main difference is that Groundhog Day has a very specific message to get across: that people can learn and will learn and they will get better at life.
The Day He Arrives is definitely not telling you that (it might be telling you the contrary) and perhaps it is not telling you anything at all...
But that does not mean this one is only a pointless, pessimist and bleak movie. It can be read that way for sure but I think Hong is going from something more simple here: Life tends to repeat itself or better yet- WE tend to repeat ourselves. In those repetitions we gain some insight, we gain some happiness even when we end up many times in very familiar places of hurt and loneliness and that's it, this is how we live even if we are not fully aware of it (like our protagonists never seem to realize they are repeating very similar behaviour every day)
I really enjoyed the framing and the black and white photography, Hong also constantly zooms in and re-frames the composition to accentuate what characters are stating or feeling augmenting the echoes of repeated lines and ideas we find throughout the film.
You might not want to see The Day He Arrives again but this film definitely lends itself to multiple viewings and I am sure I will be thinking about it for a long time.