Time (Shi Gan)

((summary taken from asianmediawiki.com))

Seh-hee and Ji-woo are a young couple two years into their relationship. Though he never acts on his impulses, Ji-woo has something of a roving eye and Seh-hee is intensely jealous and fearful that Ji-woo will soon lose interest and leave her. Believing that Ji-woo is bored with seeing the same, boring her all the time, Seh-hee takes drastic action, leaving him without warning and having drastic cosmetic surgery, taking on a new face, which she hopes to use to snare him again, under an assumed identity, once she has healed. But when Ji-woo shows interest in this new and "improved" Seh-hee, it triggers only more self-doubt and loathing. After all, he may love the ‘new’ girl, but does this mean that he has rejected the old? Seh-hee is utterly trapped in her own insecurities, a situation that prompts Ji-woo to take drastic action of his own.

My Rating:

I just finished watching Kim Ki-Duk's movie, Shi Gan (Time), and I must say I am very impressed. This was the first time I've seen any of his movies--though I've wanted to watch 3 Iron for awhile--and honestly, I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did. My initial reluctance was due to the fact that for the first half of the show, I thought I was watching a horror film (having chosen to watch this movie based solely on its cover alone). Whoops! Boy was I surprised when I made it through Part 1, and I still had yet to see any long haired ghosts, or mysterious, gruesome deaths occur.

Once I convinced myself that this probably wasn't a horror film, I forced myself to relax and set aside my disappointment long enough to see where the director was going with this. The ending confused me, but most endings usually do: in that way, it really wasn't much different from a horror movie.

After it was all over, I thought it was many things: disturbing, touching, ridiculous, and painfully depressing. Aside from the often strange and highly implausible plot twists, the characters themselves--with their insecurities and their inner struggles--are portrayed very realistically. In that way, the story itself is very honest... particularly the ending. It leaves you feeling hollow and empty, and the message hits you hard. Society's obsession with beauty and the pressures of an ongoing relationship can be a very scary, very real thing.

So after watching this I've come to one (among several) very important conclusions: I'm NEVER getting plastic surgery. And neither should you.

Now go watch this film and see why for yourself. ^_^

(And if anyone can explain the ending feel free to let me in on the big secret. All I have are tons of guesses, and a near certainty that they're probably all wrong.)


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