Ni na bian ji dian (What Time Is It Over There?) Reviews
Ming-Liang belabors his points with long stretches of unnecessary screen time. It is a film that spoon feeds too much of its narrative and does not allow its audience to think for themselves. At the same time, his heavy-hand approach and the need to repeat certain scenes long after one has gotten the point has a dumbing down effect.
At times, the best way to get a point across is to take the direct approach. While in others, a good case can be made in using additional screen time to tell an emotion or a complex story. Ming-Liang goes beyond those acceptable limits with the material he has.
In the end, "What Time Is It There" becomes an exercise in which the audience is way ahead of the filmmakers in comprehension and deconstructing its underlying themes. It is a position that a film does not want to be in because when it does, it is unrewarding and hardly satisfying and in the process, alienates its audience.