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Time (Unrated)

Release Date: July 13th, 2007 (Cinema Village) by Lifesize Entertainment.
The Cast: Ji-yun Park, Jung-woo Ha, Hyeon-ah Seong, Sung-min Kim.
Directed by Kim Ki-duk.
In Korean with subtitles.

BASIC PREMISE: When her relationship with her boyfriend, Ji-woo (Ha), loses steam, She-hee (Park) undergoes an operation to change her face and meets Ji-woo all over again.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: In many ways an unconventional, creepy love story, Time suffers from a tedious plot in the second act. The first act briefly introduces the crumbling romance between Ji-woo and She-hee without showing how they met or what they were like before the physical and emotional attraction went away. Somehow, she can afford to go through gruesome, painful surgery which gives her a new face. Her doctor makes it clear that she wonít be able to get her old face back after the procedure. The mewhat dull second act follows her as she meets Ji-woo at a restaurant where she works at and tries to start a new relationship without him knowing who she really is. Of course, he canít stop thinking about his missing girlfriend, so that makes it more challenging for She-hee. After the stunning, imaginative Spring, Summer, Fall, WinterÖand Spring and surprisingly poignant 3-Iron, writer/director Kim Ki-duk goes for more of a gimmicky, plot-driven film that doesnít go far enough with its creepiness and the initial romance between Ji-woo and She-hee feels rather bland and ephemeral. He does include a few interesting symbolic images and striking visuals which helps to make the plot mildly engaging. Ji-yun Park and Jung-woo Ha both gives decent performances, but, admittedly, more character development would have helped to make this a much more absorbing and memorable film.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: The basic message is that changing your looks wonít necessarily change who you are as a person. Some people, like She-hee, go through drastic, desperate changes to try to impress the love of their life when all they really have to do stay the way they are and just be more open and honest in the emotional sense.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Occasionally tedious and not enough character development.


IN A NUTSHELL: Mildly engaging and visually striking, but occasionally tedious, gimmicky and low on character development.


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