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Vanishing Time: A Boy Who Returned (2016)

Five children go to the mountains; magically, one comes back a man.


Tae-hwa Eom


Tae-hwa Eom
3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Dong-won Gang ... Seong-min
Lee Hyo-Je Lee Hyo-Je
Dan-Yool Kim Dan-Yool Kim
Hee-won Kim Hee-won Kim ... Do-gyoon
Hae-hyo Kwon Hae-hyo Kwon ... Baek-gi
Eun-soo Shin Eun-soo Shin ... Su-rin
Jung Woo-Jin Jung Woo-Jin


Five children go to the mountains; magically, one comes back a man.

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Release Date:

16 November 2016 (South Korea) See more »

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User Reviews

When the time froze, but not one's growth.
4 December 2017 | by Reno RanganSee all my reviews

There's nothing left to say about the Korean film industry. I've already praised highlighting all the best stuffs. One thing they lack is the awards winning capability, like perhaps the Oscars. Cinematically and entertainment perspective, they always give a top notch product. Particularly, the kind of emotions they use, is very closely appeals to my culture, probably for the rest of the world as well. All I have heard about this was a fantasy film. Beyond that, it was a little romance, a little emotional and a little thriller.

There are a large number of people outside the South Korea follow the Korean films. Though this one is definitely an under-noticed a great piece of work. I don't know this director, but he wrote and made it pretty awesomely. This kind of tale very much suitable for anime. It's going to be just like another 'Your Name'. If they decide to make it with the small changes, I'm absolutely on to it.

The title is not really enchanting for a fantasy film. But definitely makes sense on what it narrates. This is a fantasy film, though, since time involved in it, it automatically a small part of science fiction too. They had well covered all the loopholes and flaws. They did not detail out all minute things, but if you think little intelligently, you will get all the answers for your doubts. For instance, how that asthma boy had died.

From a small Korean island town, the story followed a teenage girl, Soo-rin who recently moved in there with her stepfather. She was considered a weirdo in the school for being lonely. Then a boy named Sung-min befriends her and become girlfriend-boyfriend. One day they along with two other boys venturing to the nearby mountain forest, discovered a glowing object. In the next minute, everything has changed. All of them disappeared, except the girl. Now the town is enraged by her little story.

❝Let me grow to 6ft. Earn $10 dollar before age 30.❞

Nobody knows what had happened, including Soo-rin, until a man who approached her telling some strange story. She finds a reason to believe that, but not anyone else. It goes on like they are fighting to tell the truth to the world, but it was beyond reality. Adds more complication every time they try to explain it. Without any options to solve it, where the remaining narration heads and ends were told quite nicely, emotionally.

The story was simple, but the details makes is more complex. Easy to follow, there's always an explanation for everything you see. Contents wise, it is a well balanced for children's and the grown- ups viewing. Whenever a film theme involved messing with time, it has to be very clever. Because time naturally does not exist in the universe. It is the human's creation to understand everything's existence. I think they have designed this story with the characters so well. It could be a time travel theme too, if you take it from a different perspective.

Two hours long film, but that did not bother me. Because I well merged with the story. The twist came early itself as the storytelling demanded it. But there were many turns in the later parts. Especially the entire second half is less excitement if you are a fantasy film fan. Though it gets tense for every scene, and creates curiosity about the conclusion. Not the best ending, yet very suitable one. What I am impressed with it was how smartly they used the graphics. They did not require higher end. Simple and believable visuals, compared to Hollywood's similar style flicks. One such interesting fact was, they wanted the story to lead the film than the colourful graphics.

Nice performances. The locations were good too. There are some moments that reminds other films. Nothing like it stole from them, though for the similarity in the thematic and the situations. The overall film theme was not out and out fresh. It simply changed a few rules and with the kind of development, it created its own identity. As for me, this is one of the top ten fantasy films of the decade and top ten in all time Korean fantasy film. As I said, if you love this genre, then it is a must see. Highly recommended!


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