[Movie Review] 20th Century Girl is a sweet but somber first love story for any generation





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[Movie Review] 20th Century Girl is a sweet but somber 1st appreciate story for any generation

Netflix’s new young appreciate romance 20th Century Girl is each a bubbly smile-fest and a bittersweet take on developing up. It captures the exhilaration and longing of youth, as nicely as the higher feelings that accompany all the things from friendships to 1st loves. Prior to it requires a melancholy turn in its final quarter, it is a sunny day film to sit back and summon that critical moment when you had your 1st crush, no matter the century.

 
Film Critique

[Movie Review] 20th Century Girl is a sweet but somber first love story for any generation [Movie Review] 20th Century Girl is a sweet but somber first love story for any generation

The 1st standout function of 20th Century Girl is its cinematography. It is bathed in turned-up tints that really feel like you are flipping by means of Instagram filters, but this is not a complaint. It provides the entire factor a Candyland good quality and tends to make it really feel like a dream — which, it type of is. It is a memory of a time much more than 20 years ago when the protagonist, NA BO-RA (Kim Yoo-jung), was in higher college, worried about her most effective friend’s heart situation and later her personal heart when she starts to fall in appreciate.

We start out in the present, exactly where Han Hyo-joo plays the adult Bo-ra. She’s in Seoul but her father (Jung Suk-yong) calls her from Cheongju, exactly where she grew up, to inform her she’s received a package. It is a VHS tape of a 19+ film that somebody borrowed from her father’s video rental shop in 1999 and never ever returned. Along with it is an invite to an art exhibition.

Bo-ra sees the video cover and a funny memory comes back to her. The borrower was the boy who became her 1st appreciate, POONG WOON-HO (Byun Woo-seok). Via this excavated artifact, we commence our journey into Bo-ra’s memory of how they met and got to know every single other, and then how points ended up.

[Movie Review] 20th Century Girl is a sweet but somber first love story for any generation [Movie Review] 20th Century Girl is a sweet but somber first love story for any generation

In a startling speedy setup, we’re back in 1999 exactly where Bo-ra is sending off her most effective buddy KIM YEON-DOO (Roh Yoon-seo) for a remain in the U.S. to have heart surgery. Yeon-doo appears to be the form to have a crush a minute but the boy she’s just met just before leaving is, to her thoughts, the a single.

Bo-ra promises to discover out all the things she can about Yeon doo’s new crush although she’s away, and sets up an e mail account so she can forward Yeon-doo all the information. So far, the only factor she knows is the boy’s name is BAEK HYUN-JIN (Park Jung-woo). And, in below 5 minutes, we’re off and operating on our hijinks for Bo-ra to make excellent on her word by following Hyun-jin about.

[Movie Review] 20th Century Girl is a sweet but somber first love story for any generation

The subsequent hour and a half requires spot in the 1999 timeline and can most effective be described as vibrant — each aesthetically and narratively. Kim Yoo-jung is as funny, quite, and energetic as ever, demonstrating the dexterous higher kicks we’ve observed from her just before in other perform (I appreciate how she usually gets to take down bullies). Byun Woo-seok is just beautiful as Bo-ra’s 1st appreciate, pulling on the heartstrings and producing me really feel absolutely nothing but empathy for his character.

These two with each other are quite dreamy and the story is at its most effective when they’re living by means of the higher college realities of flirtations, rejections, and missed meetings. It all occurs as Bo-ra secretly investigates the life of Hyun-jin and gets close to his most effective buddy, Woon-ho, in the procedure.

[Movie Review] 20th Century Girl is a sweet but somber first love story for any generation [Movie Review] 20th Century Girl is a sweet but somber first love story for any generation

Woon-ho aids Bo-ra get the facts she’s searching for, but of course, this causes much more than a couple of miscommunications about who likes who in our quartet of characters. As Bo-ra and Woon-ho gradually come to understand they like every single other, the film basks in the simplicity of a time in life when all the things is nevertheless unknown.

The 1st kiss is gratifyingly delayed by many mishaps and when it ultimately arrives it is the sweetest, quickest, realest 1st kiss I can think about. It may well not make your heart flutter, but gladden, with its innocence and nostalgia — a reminder that a 1st kiss comes only when. The speedy pace and effervescence of the film’s 1st half are precisely what the topic matter calls for.

[Movie Review] 20th Century Girl is a sweet but somber first love story for any generation

The 90s setting, which is vital for particular plot points, functions by not distracting from the story. It does not go overboard with set pieces or attempt also challenging to include its era, and escapes the tendency in motion pictures about the current previous to caricature the time that is getting remembered.

Like any 20th century story, lack of ubiquitous cell phones puts it in its historical spot. When Woon-ho waits all evening in front of Bo-ra’s property mainly because he can not get ahold of her, I believed, that is not just a plot device, it is an precise portrayal of the instances. For these us of who have been teenagers in the 90s, absolutely nothing characterizes it superior than hopefully waiting about.

[Movie Review] 20th Century Girl is a sweet but somber first love story for any generation

Mid-way by means of there’s a plot twist (I will not reveal) that becomes predictable just before it in fact happens but is nevertheless satisfying to see. Sadly, the film’s magic starts to taper right after that. The friendship amongst the two girls, which frames the premise and permits the action to unfurl, ends up feeling a bit contrived. This dynamic then muddies the all-natural unfolding of the appreciate relationships. I was taken out of the film and reminded that these kids’ characters have been written by adults, which is also negative mainly because the achingly sweet starting totally sold me on the misadventures of falling in appreciate for the 1st time.

The film’s final 25 minutes, which propel us along to the present, take an unexpected turn, transforming what we’ve just watched into a quite various story. The tonal shift and added melodrama force a rethinking of the movie’s major point. What begins as a relatable 1st appreciate story, ends up getting a small also distinct and loses some of its charm.

20th Century Girl is worth the watch for its wonderful 1st-half enjoyable, even if it runs into angsty terrain right after the twist. To match neatly into a genre, the final stretch could have been left off totally. For these in a contemplative mood, it may perhaps create sentimental tears. For other folks it will look unnecessarily depressing, devoid of getting altogether realistic.

[Movie Review] 20th Century Girl is a sweet but somber first love story for any generation

 
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