Ni na bian ji dian (What Time Is It Over There?) (2001) - Rotten Tomatoes

Ni na bian ji dian (What Time Is It Over There?) (2001)



Critic Consensus: Though it requires patience to view, What Time Is It There?'s exploration of loneliness is both elegant and haunting.

Ni na bian ji dian (What Time Is It Over There?) Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

The emotional pull of love and the strange symmetry between two people separated by a continent provide the backdrop for this subtly comic tale from director Tsai Ming-liang. Hsiao-kang (Lee Kang-sheng) is a young man who sells watches in the streets; his father recently died, which has his mother (Lu Yi-ching) wondering about the possibilities of reincarnation and Hsiao-kang puzzled about life in general. One day, Hsiao-kang is plying his trade when he's approached by an attractive young woman, Shiang-chyi (Chen Shiang-chyi), who tells him she's going to be taking a trip to Paris. Hsiao-kang ends up selling her his own watch, which has two faces in order to tell time in two zones at once; as the days go on, he finds that he can't stop thinking about Shiang-chyi, and as he ponders what might have been (or what could be) between them, he starts changing every clock he sees to Paris time. Jean-Pierre Leaud has a brief cameo as himself; Shiang-chyi bumps into him shortly after seeing Les 400 Coups. Ni Neibian Jidian was shown in competition at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Romance, Art House & International
Directed By:
Written By: Ming-liang Tsai, Pi-Ying Yang
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 20, 2002
Winstar Cinemas


Kang-sheng Lee
as Hsiao-kang
Shiang-chyi Chen
as Shiang-chyi
Tien Miao
as Father
Cecilia Yip
as Woman in Paris
Chao-jung Chen
as Man in Subway Statio...
Tsai Guei
as Prostitute
Arthur Nauzyciel
as Man at Phone Booth
David Ganansia
as Man at Restaurant
Jean-Pierre Léaud
as Himself/Man at the C...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Ni na bian ji dian (What Time Is It Over There?)

Critic Reviews for Ni na bian ji dian (What Time Is It Over There?)

All Critics (58) | Top Critics (20)

While its careful pace and seemingly opaque story may not satisfy every moviegoer's appetite, the film's final scene is soaringly, transparently moving.

March 28, 2002
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

Tsai's confidence in the deep power of silence drives home the film's inner convictions. Its surface works coolly, intriguingly and, happily, feebly in opposition to the heart of the matter.

March 22, 2002
Detroit News
Top Critic

At times, Tsai's approach makes viewing this film like watching paint dry, but what a sublime design it makes.

Full Review… | March 21, 2002
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

Alternates between deadpan comedy and heartbreaking loneliness and isn't afraid to provoke introspection in both its characters and its audience.

Full Review… | March 21, 2002
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

Mr. Tsai is a very original artist in his medium, and What Time Is It There? should be seen at the very least for its spasms of absurdist humor.

Full Review… | March 13, 2002
New York Observer
Top Critic

What Time Is It There? is not easy. It haunts you, you can't forget it, you admire its conception and are able to resolve some of the confusions you had while watching it.

Full Review… | March 1, 2002
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Ni na bian ji dian (What Time Is It Over There?)

Despite its evoking visuals, it feels repetitive to see Tsai explore once again his favorite themes of loneliness and emptiness but in a film that is too puzzling and lacks in consistency - especially with regards to the character's odd obsession with clocks and a woman he barely meets.

Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


A girl is going to Paris. A watch seller. A cake as a gift. Two people connected by loneliness. Subtle humor, sadness, minimal dialogues, slow movie.

This absolutely great film also brings an homage to Truffaut and a small part of Jean-Pierre Léaud. You don´t need to know The 400 blows, but if you do, you will definitely have another view of "What Time Is It There?".

Rubia Carolina

Super Reviewer

I slow film about loss, emptiness, loneliness and the need to fill this up, to be somewhat in control and not being able to. Very delicate.

Saskia D.

Super Reviewer

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