Film Review: Time

by Celeste Heiter, Nov 23, 2010 | Destinations: Korea, S



A psycho-sexual identity crisis is the centerpiece of this romantic mystery thriller by Korean director Ki-duk Kim. When the film opens, Seh-hee and Ji-woo, an attractive young couple, are at an emotional cusp in their relationship. She-hee worries that things aren't quite as passionate as they used to be, and one evening, Ji-woo returns from work to a vacant apartment. Seh-hee has vanished.

As Ji-woo, bewildered and heartbroken, does his best to make sense of her disappearance and carry on with his empty life, Seh-hee is undergoing extensive plastic surgery in a misguided attempt to reinvent herself and kindle a new relationship with Ji-woo.

Posing as See-hee, a waitress in the café where Ji-woo spends his afternoons, Seh-hee gradually coaxes him into her bed. And although they share the same romantic intimacy that they once did, She-hee is deeply troubled that he is still pining for the woman she used to be, and that their new relationship is plagued by the same issues that alienated Ji-woo the first time around.

Time is a slow study in the emotional mythology inherent in many relationships, and Seh-hee and Ji-woo are its personification. Blind to the value of true love that couples so often take for granted, they allow insecurity and mistrust to extinguish the flame of passion, leaving ambivalence and a gnawing lack of fulfillment in its place. Watch this film for the subtle lessons to be learned.

* * *

Available on Amazon

* * * * *