Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Jung-woo Ha, Ji-Yeon Park, Jun-yeong Jang, Gyu-Woon Jung, Ji-heon Kim
Director: Ki-duk Kim
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
A searing examination of modern culture's obsession with youthful beauty and unattainable physical perfection. Attractive Seh-hee is having problems with her boyfriend, Ji-woo. After two years, their love has entered a p... more »
Similarly Requested DVDs
Time - Strong Film from Korean Master Kim Ki-Duk (Spoiler F
Mark | East Coast | 02/18/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
What do you get when you mix deep love, insecurity, Korean culture, modern medical advances and a superficial society? If you're a master director like Kim Ki-Duk, you get a a movie like "Time." While this certainly isn't his best work, it is strong nonetheless and will capture your attention with it's confusing and revealing twists and turns.
The Story and the Script
It's not uncommon to experience some distancing when a couple has been together for a few years. When Seh-hee (Ji Yeon Park) lets her insecurity get the best of her, she begins to worry that her boyfriend Ji-Woo (Ha Jeong-Woo) has tired of her. She goes to some extra-ordinary lengths to address that issue, and therein lies the first twist in our story.
Seh-hee's jealousy is also part and parcel to her insecurity. Needless to say, the story gets more intriguing as we examine Ji-Woo's confusion and attempts to cope with at first the uncertainty and eventually the strangeness of Seh-hee's actions. The plot is thick and rich with purposeful surprises that reveal more and more layers of these characters.
The culture of superficiality which has taken hold in South Korea as in most of the world takes center stage during this movie. The dialogue in the film often seems rough, perhaps mainly for reasons of cultural differences. Still, the writing is interesting and will keep you guessing.
Some elements of the film made me wary, such as Korean men that have no issue with smacking their dates and a desperate hornyness that seems all too common among the male characters. Still, all these elements are well integrated in the story, and certainly there's nothing really gratuitous here.
Imagery is also used to great effect, and the cinematography is top notch. Locations and sets become characters that add depth and interest to the story as it unfolds. Ji-Woo is a photography buff and we get to enjoy his pastime through him. And the shots of sculpture park become a dream-like symbol for the characters' descent.
Acting and Direction
The movie is stocked full of very strong actors and beautiful scenes of Korea. Of course the visually beautiful backdrop is in contrast to our protagonists, who seem ill at ease with themselves.
The two lead actors each deliver very impressive performances that help smooth over a script that appears to have been written with the intent of sometimes making viewers uncomfortable.
Features and Extras
There are some disappointing aspects to this film. The DVD includes only a fluffy making-of featurette that is just inadequate. Additionally, the subtitles are poorly done in a white that often blends in with on-screen images making it almost illegible. It would have been nice to have the translations placed below the widescreen frame. I do not speak Korean. :)
Despite these minor things, I think this movie is well worth your time.
Overall, worth watching. If you are a huge fan of philosophical drama, it's worth owning as well.
"Time" cements Kim Ki-Duk's position as one of Korea's most
Woopak | Where Dark Asian Knights Dwell | 10/10/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"TIME (aka. Shi gan) is the 2006 offering of acclaimed Korean director Kim Ki-Duk (the Bow, The Isle, Spring Summer Fall..., 3-IRON). Kim's style of film-making usually involves limited dialogue, allowing silence to express the screenplay by way of unspoken emotional expression. Much of his films involve marginalized worlds or a way of life; he takes his audiences to that world, the main goal is to make us understand how it operates and see certain rules that may apply. In his film; "Time", he tackles the desire for youth and beauty, also the fears of love.
A young and attractive woman named Seh-hee (Ji Yeon Park) is worried that her boyfriend, Ji-woo (Ha Jeong-woo) is growing tired of her. She occasionally observes him looking at other beautiful women. She-hee is a jealous type and always insists that she doesn't excite him anymore during lovemaking. She-hee even goes as far as suggesting that he imagine her as someone else while making love. Seh-hee, takes drastic measures to keep her boyfriend's love. She disappears for a time to undergo extensive plastic surgery; to change her appearance.
Six months pass, and Seh-hee re-introduces herself to her ex-boyfriend as Ji-hee (Seong Hyeon-a, Woman is the Future of Man, the Intimate) and they start a new romance. Now, Ji-hee realizes that Ji-woo hasn't gotten over his former love; Seh-hee. She learns that he is STILL very much in love with her former face. Ji-hee is faced with a terrible dilemma.
Plastic surgery has become an "in" thing in South Korea, so it is no wonder that movies that deal with this current wave (Time, Cinderella) will be made. Unlike many of Kim's films, "TIME" has a lot of dialogue, although there are moments in the film wherein silence is used for expression. There are some subtle symbolisms and potent themes in the screenplay; I think the failure of communication is strongly represented in "Time". The film plays like a ballad, even though the setting is a huge concrete world, the film never failed to entrance me and at times, even bewilder me. The cinematography is great as usual, places are revisited, and photos are memorized but NEVER for a moment did the proceedings felt dull and boring. The cinematography is actually mesmerizing.
I've read that Kim originally refused to play "Time" in Korea, only after an online petition by thousands of fans did he agree to it. The film received a bit of disdain from the Korean people, which further cements Kim's status as an "outcast" director. "TIME" is far from becoming a mainstream drama, but surprisingly, it may contain a bit of sly humor which are absent in his past films. Kim never fleshes out his characters entirely, but one thing no one can deny is that he never fails to engage his audience's brain with cerebral fascination. Kim's style of directing is truly inspired; it retains that symmetrical genius, both in visuals and narration. "Time" may have a bit of a minimalist approach, the use of symbolic themes and metaphors in the sculptures, the proceedings stay grounded and still came to me as a slice of pure human drama than a fable.
The strong performance of Hyeon-a Seong is the highlight of this film, she succeeds in expressing all the needed emotions in portraying Ji-hee's character. She is excellent in her performance. Ji-woo's character isn't fleshed out as I would have wished. The lead characters' motivation in their actions is very much left to our interpretation at times.
I have the Korean region-3 release by KD MEDIA. I think it's safe to say that the U.S. release will utilize a similar transfer.
VIDEO/AUDIO: 1.78 anamorphic widescreen. The PQ is exceptional. Bright, radiant colors with strong blacks(when needed). Clean and crisp picture quality. 5.1 Dolby Digital Korean track is sufficient for this film. The sound is clear with the excellent English subs.
"Time" may mark a new direction in Kim's work, only "time" (pun intended) will tell. This films tackles important issues even though it is not as cryptic as his previous films, but it is still entertaining and nonetheless challenging. As usual, the climax of the film is left to the audiences' interpretation. "Time" is truly worth a look for fans of Kim Ki-Duk's work.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! [4 stars]
Brilliant psychological film
Nirmal Ghosh | Thailand | 06/16/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a brilliant treatment of human insecurity and relationships, of loneliness and superficiality. Tension throughout, well paced, and leaving you with questions and dimensions, but no answers. Like his previous films, it will stay in your head, and you can see it several times over."
A Korean Culture Capsule.
Noble Sir | Korea | 12/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Once again, Kim Ki Duk has produced another excellent movie showing the more sensitive nature of his korean culture, up close and personal. The photography is top quality and the images of surgery donot linger too long for affect but give just the right atmosphere of desperation to the story. Kim's treatment of love is unique in that he shows love is with us all the time but it can take many hardships to see it. Kim also shows that, like Deity, love has no limits known by man except for the limits man places on it which can never last. A great movie. Buy it!"