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.
It's back to the bad old days for director Kim Ki-Duk. After a string of much loved films that broke with the harsh, ranting polemics of his older work in favour of gentler meditations on life and love, Kim is back to his old tricks with Time, a film that shows he hasn't lost his angry edge and sets the stage for repeated accusations that the man is, essentially, a misanthrope who sees little in the world and people around him that doesn't inspire contempt. This is Kim in his Von Trier mode, brash and as subtle as a hammer blow to the head. Time is a furious salvo launched at the cosmetic and image-marketing industries, a vicious attack both on the women who take these artificial concepts of beauty seriously and at the companies who exploit them. Kim is absolutely livid at the lengths people will go to attain beauty and at the twisting and corruption of the human spirit that results. If this is love, he argues, who in their right mind would want it?
“Kim has found an entertaining vehicle for one of the oldest tragedies known to man, and executed the scenario with finesse.” - John DeFore, HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
Director: Kim Ki-Duk
Screenplay: Kim Ki-duk
Cast: Seong Hyeon-a
Producers: Kim Ki-duk