Movie Review – Time

Posted: June 16, 2013 in Movie Reviews
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Friday night movies are special to me. The best Friday night movie till date for me is Midnight in Paris. This habit of watching a movie compulsorily on Friday night – whatever may be the case – started from late 2011 when I re started my movie marathon as to come out of depression. This is one move of mine I completely relish and would never regret.


After a long time this movie by Kim Ki-duk completely spoiled by day. I got afraid as to how I’m going to write a review of this movie. For me genre of this movie is horror as opposed to romance/drama mentioned in imdb. I was completely haunted right from the first scene where an operation is shown exclusively with brilliant background music. The whole movie has great BGM.

This is my first movie of Kim Ki-duk and he totally swept me off my feet with his thinking. All through years possessiveness has been one subject in love which has confused me. When I was okay with a girl talking with guy girls wanted me to be possessive and when I became possessive, note I became and not turned, girls didn’t want me to be possessive, they wanted a social me. ‘Time’ confused me as much as girls in my life did.

The movie starts with a woman who comes out after plastic surgery. After being dashed by someone a photo frame breaks and there is the cut. The movie starts afresh with a guy waiting in coffee shop and looking at a cute waitress. She was the hottest thing in the movie. Then his girlfriend comes and asks him what he was doing. If that is not enough he helps move the car of girls who find it tough and opens the café door for them too, to be again questioned by his girlfriend.

His girlfriend starts shouting at the two women and the waitress. One of the two women says to this guy that he must be lucky to have such a possessive girlfriend and that meant she loves him a lot. I didn’t think so. She was a total whacko who couldn’t digest the attention that his boyfriend is getting. They go to their house and make love. Suddenly she talks about her face not being nice and asks him to imagine him being with other girl. That’s when her inferiority complex comes to the picture.

All of a sudden she goes to the plastic surgeon, changes her face and goes out of his life. The movie from this point makes a sudden turn. It shows how insecure men are. Or is it an excuse by men to hit on other girls. He goes out drinking and gets a lot of girls but sadly is not able to find peace. Inner peace you see. There is a beautiful scene in a night club where a girl after asking him how she looks replies to him, “that’s how a well natured guy would reply to an unimpressive girl.” Each word in this sentence affected me. Because it’s always the guy who feels like this or I didn’t even know how a girl would feel if a guy neglected him. This is one sentence I’d have loved to frame on my own.

Think of Ji-woo, the male protagonist. He has lost his love. He has got killer looks, at least that’s what the movie says but still persists with a single girlfriend. He finds it tough to stop thinking about her but after a point she starts getting discouraged of being single. He feels lonely and his feeling is genuine. He meets a friend at art museum who asks if they could be in relationship but she goes out suddenly saying no. We like Ji-woo are startled. He asks, “What happened to you. Right after coming from rest room you’ve changed your decision?” I ask the same question. What happened?

Ji-woo starts dating another girl after a period of six months. It wasn’t a big surprise. I found out that it’s the same girl See-hee who was his lover. They date and she gets to woo him. Her motive is achieved. But will it give her satisfaction. A definite no. Till that point I was thinking from Ji-woo’s point of view but thinking from See-hee’s point of view. She has taken the extreme step to always be the point of interest of Ji-woo but sadly he doesn’t know that it’s See-hee. Now she thinks that if not her he’d have loved some other person and gets depressed or rather confused at this stage. Finally she tells him that it’s she who is See-hee.

Now let’s come to how Ji-woo would think. This is the worst thing that she could do to him. Imagine yourself in this position. I don’t see this as love. It’s obsession. If someone could go this far I don’t know what all she’ll do to get him. Ji-woo reacts as I expected. He gets irritated and goes off gets into an unnecessary fight. Physical pain is better than emotion pain. There is another brilliant scene there. The whole emotion shown by the new See-hee is masked by her previous face. Just like the previous face masked by her new face. There is beautiful dialogue in Tamil movie Anniyan. I find it apt to mention it here. In that film Ambi says, “Manishaluku make up podamudiyum, manasuku make up podamudiyathuNandhini” which means we can mask your face but can we mask our heart. She goes to the plastic surgeon with the mask on and tears dwelling from it. The doctor and the nurse there play with the face. It’s just another case for them who don’t give a damn. May be!

Now Ji-woo after asking the surgeon how he could change the face of someone which would change his identity, asks for a change of face. The doctor obliges and tells See-hee about it. Now that See-hee has known that he’ll come back after a period of six months like how he did she starts imagining every guy to be Ji-woo. I correct the sentence, every smart guy. After a point of time she gets up of not finding him. As it’s the face that has made so much confusion she asks for an ugly make over which again the doctor does. All the while it’s only the doctor who makes money and both Ji-woo and See-hee losing their identity and in process life. See-hee roams about in subway shouting at everyone and asking Ji-woo to come out. I found this scene similar to a scene from Being John Malkovich where Malkovich himself gets into his portal and seems Malkovich everywhere around. I found that funny but here it was haunting.

The film ends with the first scene again like a clock coming back to the same position again. That’s how apt one could name a movie ‘Time’. Brilliant! But this movie leaves a lot of question. Love, which is always an exaggerated feeling in cinema, leaves you blindfolded. We get wooed by the current. Very few movies have given out the inner feelings when one is in love. I’m a firm believer that if you haven’t loved or been loved you’re a loser. Add one more to it. This movie would be a disaster if you don’t know what love is. But again it’s not a love story. Period!

P.S: Why this movie has to be Korean? I found everyone alike. It was like watching before and after fair and lovely ads with the same face.

P.S.S: The surgeon shows a before and after surgery picture of a woman asking See-hee, “Can you believe it, both are the same persons?” For which I was like, “Oh are they having different face?”

P.S.S.S: Special mention to the museum. It was sexy, sultry, stylish and superb.


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