Time

"Very Good"

Time Review


For his 13th film (in 10 years), Korean It-director Kim Ki-duk takes on quite a few themes: the battle between the sexes, plastic surgery, identity, loneliness, and, as the title suggests, Time itself, building a thought-provoking story that's part comedy, part drama, and part Vertigo. It's a trip.

When we first meet She-hee (Park Ju-yeon) we get a taste of her wild jealousy and low self-esteem as she questions every eye movement of her laid-back boyfriend Ji-Woo (Ha Jung-woo). What a shrew. This young Seoul couple has been together for a while, and She-hee is sure Ji-Woo is tired of her. "Sorry for always having the same boring face," she says. But no sooner does she encourage him to fantasize about another woman while they have sex then she flies into another jealous rage and disappears from Ji-Woo's life without a single word of farewell.

That should be good for Ji-Woo, who's well rid of her, but She-hee's actual plan is to have her face radically changed with plastic surgery and then come back to him to start over nice and fresh. As the months tick by, Ji-Woo moves on with his life, trying some excruciating blind dates, but after six months have passed, he encounters and falls for She-heh (Syong Hyeon-a), the "new" She-hee, without knowing who she is, and around we go again. Will he catch on?

Kim nimbly weaves many threads through his story, none more powerful than the age-old adage that you can't expect others to love you until you love yourself. She-hee certainly hasn't learned this lesson, and even the new She-heh doesn't feel that much better about her situation after all that she's gone through. What is my identity, she seems to be asking herself over and over again. Can I change it by changing my face? And if I can't, am I stuck with who I am? Is there anyway to change myself from the inside out?

Kim's scenes and locales are packed with metaphor, whether it's She-hee and Ji-Woo kicking a soccer ball back and forth, recurring visits to a kinky sculpture park, or the dozen or so scenes set in a small Seoul coffee shop where the couple can't seem to help but get into shouting matches, much to the annoyance of the other patrons, who angrily remind them that hey, this is a coffee shop, not some kind of theatrical stage. "Can't you quiet down?" Ji-Woo whines to She-heh and later to She-hee. "This is embarrassing."

Unlike most of his other films, Kim, who typically includes one or more mute people as powerful symbols of human beings' trouble with connecting, packs this movie with machine-gun dialogue as pairs of young lovers try to talk everything through when in reality they should either be kissing or breaking up.

Aka Shi dan.

Hands. Touching hands. Touching you. Touching me.



Time

Facts and Figures

Run time: 97 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 10th August 2006

Distributed by: Lifesize Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 78%
Fresh: 25 Rotten: 7

IMDB: 7.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Also starring:

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