Vanishing Time: A Boy Who Returned is a slow paced, achingly beautiful movie about isolation and friendship. The cinematography alone would be enough to warrant a recommendation – but the plot, the acting, and the direction are equally exceptional.
There are images and sequences in this film that will stick in my brain for the rest of my life. Ideas that will continue to pick at me. Moments that will continually unravel.
With a mystery movie, I think it’s very important to avoid spoilers going in. I know there are plenty of people who enjoy spoilers (myself included) but sometimes, it’s just nice to be surprised. So I’ll just give you the bait:
A lonely young girl moves to small island with her stepfather. She befriends a young boy and the two become attached to one another, sharing secrets and even crafting their own written language. One day, the boy invites some of his friends and the girl to go exploring a nearby construction site on a mountain.
While climbing, they discover a cave at the base of a tree…
They all go in… but only the girl comes out.
Chaos in the town ensues as everyone attempts to find the missing children. Suddenly a young man appears and tells our girl that he is her childhood friend, impossibly fully grown. Can she believe him? If it’s true… what happened to him? And where are the others?
Trust me. You want to find out.
It’s the most magnificent idea. This movie literally stuck itself deep in my subconscious and will not doubt pop up occasionally in my mind for the rest of my life. Like the film A Werewolf Boy, it’s like watching a dream and thinking “have I had this dream before?” and never being sure cause you’ll certainly have the dream again.
It’s a 10/10 film. Find it and watch it as soon as you possibly can. You won’t regret it.