To save her relationship, a woman puts herself through extensive plastic surgery.
Prolific author and enfant terrible of Korean cinema Kim Ki-duk plumbs the depths of obsessive love in Time. Kim plays with the craze for plastic surgery that has invaded our lives, as magazines and television shows such as â€œExtreme Makeoverâ€ have streamed together into a nightmare of eternal youth and beauty. Kimâ€™s unpredictable genius takes a fashionable issue to extremes in order to probe the dark, jealous core of a relationship gone wrong.
Attractive Seh-hee (Park Ji-yun) is having problems with her boyfriend, Ji-woo (Ha Jung-woo). After two years, their love has entered a period of weariness. Though faithful to his fiance, Ji-woo eyes other women and, in bed, seems to get excited only at the thought of making love to other partners. Seh-hee canâ€™t cope with the mounting jealousy tainting her life and decides to dramatically change her look – to become a new woman, with whom her boyfriend can again fall in love.
She enters a plastic-surgery clinic and then vanishes for six months – long enough for the scars to heal – leaving Ji-woo hurt and confused by her disappearance. Resurfacing as the new waitress at the coffee shop Ji-woo frequents, Seh-hee – now calling herself See-hee (Sung Hyun-ah) – tries to seduce him. But between them stands the spectre of Ji-wooâ€™s lost girlfriend, with whom he is still very much in love. Jealousy once again creeps into the shaky existence Seh-hee has artificially crafted.
A clean style guides the circular syntax of this extreme tale of love. Set mostly in coffee shops and bars, where the intimacy of a loversâ€™ discourse is shared by curious clients, Time is steeped in a quiet, disturbing violence that censors feelings and mutilates the soul through body surgery. As if trapped within a meandering, irrational mind, the script follows a complex rhythm that mirrors the obsessive tone of the film and displays once again Kimâ€™s talent for transforming high-concept ideas into incandescent cinema.
Sung Hyun-ah, Ha Jung-woo, Park Ji-yun