HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Enola Holmes
Big Calamity, The
Man Under Table
Freedom Fields
Settlers
Boy Behind the Door, The
Swords of the Space Ark
I Still See You
Most Beautiful Boy in the World, The
Luz: The Flower of Evil
Human Voice, The
Guns Akimbo
Being a Human Person
Giants and Toys
Millionaires Express
Bringing Up Baby
World to Come, The
Air Conditioner
Fear and Loathing in Aspen
Kandisha
Riders of Justice
Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki, The
For Those Who Think Young
Justice League: War
Fuzzy Pink Nightgown, The
Plurality
Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness
Night of the Sharks
Werewolves Within
Honeymoon
King and Four Queens, The
Stray Dolls
Diana's Wedding
Deerskin
Toll, The
Two of Us
Nowhere Special
Rainbow Jacket, The
Crazy Samurai: 400 vs 1
First Cow
   
 
Newest Articles
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
   
 
  Bow, The The Old Man And The Sea
Year: 2005
Director: Kim Ki-duk
Stars: Yeo-reum Han, Si-jeok Seo, Seong-hwang Jeon, Gook-hwan Jeong, Sook-hyeon Jo
Genre: Drama, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: An old man (Seong-hwang Jeon) lives on a boat in the ocean with a teenage girl (Yeo-reum Han). He makes his living by allowing fishermen to use the craft, but they're always gossiping about the relationship between him and his companion; some say that she has been with him on the boat since she was a little girl and when she turns seventeen in a couple of months' time, he plans to marry her. However, the old man is a dab hand with a bow and arrow, which he not only uses to keep order on his boat, but for prediction as well... so what does the future hold for this odd couple?

Enigmatic as ever, what the credits proudly proclaim as "The 12th Kim Ki-duk Film" is keen to keep its secrets about precisely how symbolic it all is. Scripted by the director, at first sight it looks to be a simple tale of one character refusing to let the younger one spread her wings, but judging by the bizarre ending, it's difficult to fathom the old man's motives which perhaps were not as clear cut as they initially seemed. In those opening scenes, he patiently crosses off the days to the "wedding" on his calendar, but soon he will grow tetchy.

The girl (nobody in the film has a name, not one we are privy to at any rate) is happy with her limited existence, and goes to some lengths to protect her lifestyle which involves hanging around on the boat, playing the old man's musical instrument and being washed by him every night. One of the motives for the fishermen to visit the boat is that not only are they assured of a good catch, but they can have their fortunes told into the bargain. This has the girl swinging over the side while the old man fires arrows near her from the smaller boat, always missing.

We never hear the duo speak, so when they do have to say something to other characters, like the outcome of their fortunes, they whisper it. All is going swimmingly for the old man until one day a young student arrives to fish with his father and the girl takes an instant liking to him, borrowing his headphones to listen to music. By this time the old man's reaction to anyone who takes an interest in his fiancée is getting comical: everyone gets an arrow shot at them eventually, although they are warning shots and he never hits anyone.

But the damage has been done and the fact that the student (Si-jeok Seo) objects to the old man's designs on the girl acts as a catalyst to the breakdown of their happy floating home. The student is of a more appropriate age than the older sailor, for a start, so those uncomfortable scenes where the old man exhibits his possessiveness give way to the girl pulling away from him and looking forward to seeing the student again. Beautifully filmed on one location, a stretch of sea (we never see the land), The Bow, or Hwal as it was originally known, has a fable-like quality that makes up for a slight story and an ending which has its cake and eats it too in its own strange way. Lovely music by Eun-il Kang.

[Tartan's Region 2 DVD has behind the scenes footage and trailers as extras.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3190 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: