Oh yeah today’s post is bound to be an interesting one cuz I really reeaaally wanna talk about this new K-Movie I saw the other night called Vanishing Time: A Boy Who Returned. Maybe you’ve heard of it before? Surprisingly I haaad not. O.O The only reason I even learned of its’ existence recently is out of sheer luck. You see a couple days ago while looking over the new releases on Netflix this one particular image stuck out to me and caught my attention. I’m referring to the featured image that YOU can see on top, the one of the guy crouched up in the corner while the young girl extends her hand out to him. It was a really eye catching image to me because I instantly got this nice majestic vibe from it. Furthermore my curiosity was peeked by the single sentence description attached to it:
Days after her friends disappear during a trip to a cave, a girl is approached by a grown man claiming to be one of her missing pals.”
Reading that I was basically like huh? I needed to know more about this movie so a quick google search was in order. The first thing I found out was that this was a movie released in 2016 that as it turns out, didn’t do that great in the cinema at the time. Not to say it bombed because it did earn itself some cash, I guess it was just one of those smaller movies that didn’t get a big marketing push behind it. The interesting thing however is that among the people who did get a chance to see it the movie garnered quite a solid reputation. For example, if you were to go take a quick peek of it’s page on mydramalist you would notice that its’ user score sits at a whopping 8.7/10! 😮 You may also notice that it’s in the fantasy category too. Once I noticed those two things my response was, “ok let me see a trailer ASAP.” lol So I did give it a watch and was immediately on board with what I saw on screen. 😀
Basically here is the low down of the story that you outta know going into this movie. You have two 6th graders who are the main characters that the movie centers on. One is your female protagonist named Soo-rin. She’s the new kid in town who is a bit on the odd side and has problems making friends. And then you have Seong-min who is your male protagonist who surprisingly early on is able to befriend her. The two hit it off good and everything goes smoothly until one day they, along with Seong-min’s other friends, venture into the mountainside. Some shizz goes down there and everyone one of them but the girl gets trapped….in TIME!!! Obviously no adult is gonna come to that conclusion or even buy a story remotely close so they instead think the boys got kidnapped. However things take a weirder turn(how can it get weirder you say?) when Seong-min pops right back up as a full adult only days later! 😮
Which leads us to my thoughts on the whole thing, and what better way to start than by addressing the elephant in the room… So here is the thing peeps, as kids the two main characters we follow have a budding romance going on. In turn that’s something that can then make some of y’all feel weird when an older Seong-min shows up and starts hanging out with a still 13yr old Soo-rin. At least at first… Luckily for you though I didn’t think the drama took the pairing into any weird or creepy places to make you feel that bothered. Thank goodness. If anything I thought their relationship once he came back remained relatively cute for the most part. Instead it seemed to me like the movie switched gears and began focusing more on the friendship aspect between them and how they could work together to get through the weird situation they find themselves in. A situation that leads to the story becoming more melodrama-y as it goes further along.
But hey if you can get passed the possible initial weirdness of their circumstances and paring, then this movie is actually pretty damn good. For me watching this was like watching a webtoon or like seeing a Studio Ghibli movie come to life. Specially the first half of the movie. I also thought that with this we kinda got a similar tone to something along the lines of what we got with Goblin: The Lonely and Great God. Because remember how that k-drama had this mystical feel even in the scenes where there wasn’t any CGI going around? Like how it felt that both the music mixed with the cinematography just gave it an overall feel of magic in the air. THAT is the sense I got while watching this movie. Along with the same bitter sweet and melancholic undertones, although that was more so towards the end of the movie like I said.
But I do gotta be careful with my words because I don’t want you to go in with ridiculously high expectations because while you will definitely feel the Fantasy element promised to you, it isn’t super in your face with it. That was probs the most surprising thing to me not gonna lie but looking back it’s much appreciated. I liked how this ended up being one of those subdued movies that was more on the slice of life side of things than anything. As it meant putting heavy focus on the relationships over everything else. Having said that however, you will get some cool but mild CGI shots from time to time. Mostly when you get to see were the boys are trapped. The way those scenes were shot were so simple and yet quite unique at the same time. In addition there were a couple of cool water scenes, specially a quick one toward the end that I liked.
As for the acting it was pretty good all around. I mean I thought all the characters like the kids specifically felt genuine. Obviously though this had to be carried by the two main characters mostly and boy did they deliver. That’s because Soo-rin had such good on screen chemistry with both versions of Seong-min. Between the two of them they were able to make me smile and they were able to make me teary-eyed many times over. And given how their character’s personas and backrounds were presented I could totally buy why they would gravitate towards each other. My only wish is that we could have gotten more of their early hijinks from were they were both young cuz those moments were the cutest. Young Seong-min and Soo-rin were so shippable. lol But older Seong-min and Soo-rin had their own charms together too. 🙂
So yeah please open up your Netflix and go watch this right now. 😛 The ending may feel a little bit rushed and maybe a tad confusing too but overall it’s such a great watch. You will feel an array of emotions as it starts pleasantly and slowly gets darker as things unfold. Leaving you more and more curious as to how the fallout of this “time situation” will get resolved, if it even can be. This is a true hidden gem of a movie and I give it a solid 8/10. With all that said, I’ll see you peeps in my next post. Like always feel free to share any thoughts.