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Film Review: Nostalgia with “20th Century Girl”

Film “20th Century Girl” takes us on a nostalgic journey as it tells the story of teenage life in the late 1990s. The film revolves around a taekwondo enthusiast girl who finds herself in a love triangle between two friends. Starring Kim Yoo Jung as Na Bo Ra, Park Jung Woo as Baek Hyun Jin, and Byeon Woo Seok as Poong Won Ho, the film centers on Na Bo Ra, a cheerful and energetic high school girl. Na Bo Ra has a friend named Yeon Du who has a heart condition and must undergo surgery in America. However, Yeon Du refuses to undergo surgery, so Bo Ra goes to great lengths to convince her. Yeon Du, who is in love with Baek Hyun Jin, asks Bo Ra to find out more about Hyun Jin. However, Yeon Du gives the wrong identity; the Hyun Jin she refers to is actually Poong Won Ho, as when they first met, Won Ho introduced himself as Baek Hyun Jin. As time passes, Bo Ra spends many moments with Poong Won Ho, and she begins to develop feelings for him, unaware that the Hyun Jin Yeon Du refers to is Won Ho. When Yeon Du completes her surgery and returns to Korea, she reveals that the Hyun Jin she meant is Won Ho. From then on, Bo Ra tries to suppress her feelings for Won Ho, a fact that Yeon Du discovers. Ultimately, Yeon Du, not wanting their friendship to suffer, encourages Bo Ra to pursue her love for Won Ho.

In this film, the actors have delivered captivating performances. Kim Yoo Jung portrays various emotions of her character perfectly, from joy to sadness to disappointment. Byeon Woo Seok’s acting is equally impressive, complementing Kim Yoo Jung’s performance. The other cast members also effectively portray their respective characters, drawing viewers into the story. Additionally, the film’s appeal lies in its nostalgic atmosphere of the 1990s. It incorporates various elements of nostalgia, such as pagers, cassette tapes, Walkmans, and old-school high school uniforms. The soundtrack features popular 1990s songs, adding to the nostalgic ambiance. Viewers are invited to relive their teenage years filled with love, friendship, and fond memories. The love story in the film is sweet and heartwarming, depicting Bo-ra’s innocent and spirited love as she gets to know Woon-ho, a quiet and caring student.

Despite its many strengths, the film also has some weaknesses. The storyline may feel somewhat slow-paced at times, and some of the twists are not particularly surprising. The plot can also be considered cliché, and some viewers may find it predictable. Additionally, the film’s duration of 2 hours and 3 minutes may feel a bit long to some viewers, as the storyline is somewhat predictable, making it somewhat dull.

Overall, “20th Century Girl” is a sweet and heartwarming film that brings back nostalgic and emotional moments of teenage love. The outstanding performances by the cast and the nostalgic 1990s atmosphere are its main attractions. This film is suitable for anyone who wants to reminisce about their teenage years and experience the beauty of first love once again.

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