Time

TimeTime

Kim Ki-duk :: S. Korea :: 2006 :: 1h37

Ji-woo has been with his girlfriend See-hee for two years. When she sees him looking or talking to other girls See-hee feels over-whelmed with a jealousy and a fear that their love is over. He assures her that it is not, but she can not be convinced. In her mounting fury, she convinces herself that he is no longer interested in looking at her. Then one day: she’s gone, leaving Ji-woo heartbroken.

Lost, Ji-woo does not know what to do with his life. With his crude friends they roll themselves into Seoul’s singles’ merry-go-round. When he finally meets a girl he likes and could fall in love with, he gets a note from See-hee announcing her return. Bizarrely enough, when she shows up in the café, she is masked with a photo of her own face covering her own. The heartbroken Ji-woo does not know what to feel in the confusion staring at his love. See-hee masks a secret and a reborn jealousy but this time not of others but of … herself.

The funny and challenging movie addresses a interchangeability issue, based on a premise of human superficiality, but unfortunately misses its target. Most of the blame is to be carried by a badly written script which looses the actors and the audience along the way by its lack of credibility. Far fetched ideas can be a real pleasure to watch, but deviating from human understanding, as this plot does, leaves us nowhere. Even if at first we can manage to muster enough sympathy for Ji-woo to deal with his loss, a little further into the film it is just no longer tenable. The impossibility of  the plot soon flips over onto See-hee who can no longer be human. I do not see how this film could have been saved other than just going back to the drawing board. A pity, considering the originality of the project at the outset, when Kim Ki-duk was no doubt sitting at a café table laughing about the idea with his friends…

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