A Time Called You review: Heartwarming romantic mystery is drawn out

Netflix’s A Time Called You follows a grieving woman magically time-traveling to 1998 and meeting a boy who looks very much like the lover she lost.

Story

Han Jun-Hee lost her boyfriend a year ago and is still unable to move on. One day, she receives a photo on Instagram by someone anonymous, in which she sees a boy looking very similar to her late boyfriend, Koo Yeon-Jun.

There’s also another boy and a girl in the picture, who others say looks awfully similar to her. She investigates her lookalike and the boy too. Soon, she receives a package that has a cassette player in it.

She learns a bit about the lookalike listens to the cassette, and gets transported back in time and to a body of her lookalike in 1998, Kwon Min-Ju. Her crush who rejected her, Nam Si-Heon, witnesses a new side to Min-Ju.

Others notice too and a certain suspicious individual does too. Jun-Hee goes back to 2023 and realizes that it’s not a dream and she can actually time travel. She goes back to 1998 and starts falling for Si-Heon, who begins falling for her too.

She realizes he’s actually her late boyfriend before getting woken up in 2023. Meanwhile, in 1998, the suspicious man turns out to be a killer and the same man who previously attacked Min-Ju and now has killed a classmate of hers.

Jun-Hee travels back after reuniting with Si-Heon in 2023 and gets struck inside Min-Ju’s mind while the latter tries to get Si-Heon to accept her again, but he doesn’t because he knows Min-Ju’s back to being her old self, not Jun-Hee.

This breaks Min-Ju’s heart and she willingly wants to be murdered by the killer despite Jun-Hee and In-Gyu’s efforts at stopping her. They fail to save her and she dies, and Jun-Hee goes back to 2023. However, she tries again.

This time, she succeeds and Min-Ju is saved. Earlier, the killer who turned out to be Yeon-Jun and Jun-Hee’s friend, Chan-Yeong, is arrested. Now, in 1998, Jun-Hee and Si-Heon bid their farewell before getting the cassette player destroyed.

They perish from this timeline and the ones that exist now, don’t remember each other. However, somewhere deep inside their minds, there are still remnants that bring Si-Heon and Jun-Hee back to each other again, as A Time Called You rolls the credits.

Performances

Ahn Hyo-Seop plays Nam Si-Heon and Koo Yeon-Jun, each with an effortless charm even when they operate with two different brands of style.

Kang Hoon plays Jung In-Gyu, and his quiet demeanor really feels sincere, as does his repressed feelings regarding one too many things in life.

It’s Jeon Yeo-Been, who absolutely shines in her role of Han Jun-Hee and Kwon Min-Ju. She plays the characters so well one might find themselves taken aback upon realizing it’s the same person playing them.

She displays great range as the two characters who behave and act like they are on the opposite ends of a spectrum, making her a standout performer among the cast of A Time Called You.

Positives

A Time Called You works so well in parts where it does mostly because of the cast of actors in it. The performances really add the most charm to this show.

Si-Heon and Jun-Hee’s love for each other transcends time and all as well as the screen because it’s quite easy to root for the two and feel for the two doomed lovers who always come back to each other because of their love.

The series also has the quality of the classic comfort show, with its picturesque scenery and wallpaper-worthy frames. Additionally, romance and love are elements that provide great reprieve from the more dramatic and soppy parts.

Negatives

The narrative is unnecessarily convoluted and overtly complex for what should be a less animated telling of events.

The impact of what happens to the central characters wouldn’t be dull if it were a less complex plot involving time traveling.

It wouldn’t dilute the mystery either, and yet more dragged-out and complicated routes are opted to tell the story of A Time Called You.

The runtime doesn’t help either. It’s too much of a chore to dump all 12 episodes most of which run for over an hour. This is most noticeable when the story stands still at the Noksan High School, focusing on a love triangle that lacks effective drama or stakes to make it interesting.

Verdict

A Time Called You is a heartwarming tale involving love, heartbreak, grief, and time travel. It’s also a story about free will pitted against the seemingly inescapable grasp of destiny.

However, it’s a story that overstays its welcome and the novelty of its fantastical elements begins to wear off long before it reaches its obvious conclusions.

A Time Called You
A Time Called You review: Heartwarming romantic mystery is drawn out 1

Director: Kim Jin-won

Date Created: 2023-09-08 12:30

Editor's Rating:
3

Also Read: A Time Called You summary and ending explained

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