Time

Korean filmtime-2006
Length: 1 hour 37 minutes
Rating: R

What is it about?

Ji-woo and Seh-hee have been in a relationship for 2 years. Seh-hee has become extremely insecure and jealous of every woman Ji-woo looks at and interacts with. She apologizes for having the same face and body every day, acting obsessive, depressed, and manic. When she visits a plastic surgeon, she decides to disappear for 6 months with no warning while she gets a new face, thinking that when she returns, Ji-woo will fall in love with the new her.

Symbolism

The sculpture park Ji-woo and Seh-hee visit together and separately is a major symbol. All the sculptures are of nude men and women, sometimes individually, sometimes in the midst of making love. These sculptures, of course, stay the same throughout the movie, no matter how much Ji-woo and Seh-hee themselves change, both superficially and emotionally. Not only do the sculptures always look the same, unlike humans, but the ones which are making love will always remain making love and never tire of each other, the very thing that Seh-hee was so afraid of with Ji-woo.

Another symbol is the tree that both Ji-woo and Seh-hee separately kick when they are frustrated with their lives. The tree is natural, and both of them kicking it represents their disregard for nature and things in their natural state, i.e. natural appearances.

Ji-woo’s hobby is photography, which preserves everything and everyone as it is forever. Photographs of the couple before and after Seh-hee’s plastic surgery, which are shown relatively frequently in various contexts, also preserve the couple, their looks, and their feelings at the moment the picture was taken forever. In the beginning and the end (this is not a spoiler), we see a broken picture frame with Seh-hee’s picture in it. This represents the fact that her former natural looks and former life can never be restored once they were changed. She – and her relationship with Ji-woo – can never be repaired.

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3 comments on “Time

  1. raisingdaisy says:

    I love your explanations; the movie sounds so interesting. I’m not great at picking up on symbolism, so I really enjoy reading your understandable insights.

    • Thank you! I always find that movies are enjoyable on a deeper level when you understand the symbolism within them. My favorite movies are the kind where you can watch them over and over and find more symbolism and deep meanings each time.

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