20th century girl is a Netflix original movie. It was released on October 21, 2022. The story has four main characters: Bora, Woonho, Yeondo, and Hyunjin. The story begins in 1999 when the four characters were 17-year-old high schoolers. Yeondo, Bora’s best friend, had a heart issue. She was going to America to receive surgery. But the day before she was scheduled to leave, she met a boy that she fancied. She asked Bora to watch him, and tell her everything about him. She told Bora the name of boy, Hyunjin. From that day, Bora started to watch Hyunjin and tried to know more about him. And in that process, Bora developed a crush on Woonho, the best friend of Hyunjin. Woonho also liked Bora. But it turned out that the one that Yeondo liked was Woonho, not Hyunjin. She thought his name was Hyunjin because Woonho had been wearing Hyunjin’s uniform. After Bora discovered that she liked the same boy that her friend liked, she decided not to like Woonho anymore. Meanwhile, Woonho is preparing to move back to New Zealand. Bora knew that Woonho was leaving but she did not even talk to him or give him the chance to talk to her. They said goodbye and looked forward to meeting each other again. Time passed by and story flashed forward to 2019. Bora did not meet Woonho or talk to him since 1999. Then, she found out that he died.
The movie showed the characters’ emotions in various ways. It used camcorders to show the character’s view. By showing the character’s camcorders we can see from their perspectives. We can see how a character looking at another with love. The other method that the movie used is showing the characters writing emails. They wrote emails to each other in some scenes; through their writing, the audience can see their emotions.
The setting of the movie was 1999, and the film showed the setting well. The color of the film fit the setting. Also, one of the parents was an owner of a video room, a type of business that no longer exists. The movie could have been just an obvious cliche movie, but by containing some distinct components the movie became unique. First, the two main characters defied common tropes. For example, the second lead character is a child of a rich family which is a common characteristic of lead characters, and the second lead character has a health issue. Those factors made the movie different from each other.
The best thing about the movie is its title. Woonho never saw Bora in the 21st century, but Bora did see him via the video Woonho sent to her before he died. Bora will always be a 20th century girl to Woonho.