The Bow – Kim Ki-Duk

The Bow - Kim Ki-Duk

I didn’t have the opportunity others had to engage in the aesthetic here. It’s too much of a postcard locale to me. Not surprisingly the emotions here are also of the Hallmark kind. Let’s see: a jealous old man impedes his young lover from flirting with other men her age; she falls in love with one of them and rejects her older lover who is set on not letting her go; finally, he breaks down, permits her freedom, and the agony drives him to a suicide attempt; seeing this, she saves him, realizing the purity of his affection, returns to him, leaving the grand promise of a new world behind…

…And their marriage becomes a point of culmination that leads to the man’s transcendence, he actually becomes an angel.

Hum. It’s a little rudimentary. And if you like it, you should ask yourself why.

I should say however that there is a good use of space here. Thrown arrows annotate the measure of space, one central sequence has us discover some hidden corridors, a lot of ‘watching’ is done from below, or above, or from the side (another boat). There are also armchairs around the boat for the fishermen to sit on. I think they are there to include the audience in the story, they are supposedly our seats too.

But seriously, this is not a story worth sitting in on. It was made so you could relax into an easy understanding. There is nothing transcending here although the ending would have you believe otherwise. Don’t buy it.

The old man here tells fortune to passing fishermen. Unfortunately we never hear these but we see them being said. Focus on that, and invent your own future for these characters.

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Categories: Notes

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