Vanishing Time: A Boy Who Returned Review


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 calledย 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? O_o 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! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ 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. ๐Ÿ˜€





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! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ


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 thisย 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

So yeah please open up your Netflix and go watch this right now. ๐Ÿ˜› 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.







23 thoughts on “Vanishing Time: A Boy Who Returned Review

  1. Well, I opened my Netflix, but unfortunately I can’t watch it, because it isn’t included in my Netflix line up. Which is a real shame, as this movie really sounds like a very worthwhile watch, and something that I usually highly enjoy. Thanks for sharing this, and as akwats great post! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “The first thing I found was that this was a movie released in 2016 and as it turns out, didnโ€™t do all that great in the cinema at the time. Not to say it bombed because it did make some cash, I guess it was just one of those smaller movies that didnโ€™t get a big marketing push behind it. The interesting thing however is that among the few people who have seen it the movie has garnered quite a solid reputation.”- I think it did pretty well at the box office. It had a strong premiere in South Korea and stayed at the Top 3 of the box office for a few weeks. It performed well considering it was up against Fantastic Beasts and Doctor Strange at that time. Kang Dong Won received an award at the New York Asian Film Festival for his role here and the movie is also nominated for several categories at the Grand Bell (Korea’s Oscar awards). ๐Ÿ™‚

    Anyway, I also liked this film and the chemistry between the leads. Some people might be bothered with the age gap but it shouldn’t be a problem given that the story is a fantasy and Kang Dong Won totally portrayed his role with such innocence and sensitivity. You’re right, the movie goes from cute to melodramatic really quick but overall still charming and visually appealing. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yeah I had heard about those awards/nominations, it was another part of the thing that got me excited to give the movie a try. ๐Ÿ™‚ As for the box office it was kind of a tricky thing. I couldn’t find what the actual budget for the movie was but I did find what it made over all. So I looked at other similar movies that did have their budgets available and averaged them. I then took that number and compared it to the gross of this movie. Of course that isn’t technically the most accurate way of doing things. ๐Ÿ˜› But if I’m right the movie made descent but not great money. So I thought not a bomb but not a smash success either. ๐Ÿ˜€ But ill fully admit my assessment could be wrong. ๐Ÿ˜… What is certain though is that like you said critically and reception wise it is most definitely a hit.

      But all those stuffs aside I am glad you liked the the movie! I myself haven’t seen much of Kang Dong Won’s work before but this movie made me interested in doing so.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh thank you. We’re just the same since I also don’t know the production cost of the movie so I can’t compute the budget with the overall earnings. (And I won’t since I suck at Math.haha) ๐Ÿ˜€ I didn’t mean to sound like I oppose what you wrote when I quoted you there. You’re actually right since it’s not a smash hit like Train to Busan. I just shared my opinion that I was impressed that it did well at the Korean box office during its run while it was up against those Hollywood blockbusters. I just added the awards info to encourage the readers to see it too. ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes, I hope you’d watch more of Kang Dong Won’s works. IMO he’s pretty versatile and he doesn’t stick to one genre. I like him. ^_^

        Liked by 1 person

      • Haunters, Kundo, A Violent Prosecutor, and Master. His characters in these films are the ones that stood out for me especially Haunters and Kundo where he plays the bad guy.


  3. The moment I saw your post, I instantly checked it out. I told myself I’d get back to comments once I’m done. AND YES, I AM. Wow I am a ball of a mess. Hahahaha! The emotions are so intense! I really love it because it has more meaning and depth than you could think. Is time really an illusion? Can we really stop it? Should we keep running after it? Also, The Lonely Shining Goblin feels, so that’s how you really got stuck in the kind of limbo?? I can’t really construct proper sentences right now so I might just thought this all out and probably write a blog post about it, too. Though, not really this kind of review. Just my thought on its concept. Thank you for posting about this. It is a very interesting watch.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yay! I’m glad you liked the movie. I was really taken in by the actors. Surprisingly this was the main actresses first major role. I was kinda shocked finding that out. Anywho, I think it would be cool if you made a post about this movie because I agree it deserves to be talked about more. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for this. I watched the movie recently after reading this post. And I really enjoyed it. It was so different. Also, to say this was the first movie I watched after 3 months of no tv or movies. I wanted something good to watch, and thankfully after reading your post I did. ๐Ÿ˜ŠThank you!

    Liked by 2 people

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