In the film Bow,Korean director Kim Ki Duk does a magnificent job of creating a story with little to no speaking. This seems to be his style. I will also be reviewing another movie just after this called The Isle.
The story is about an old man who brought a six year old girl to his boat ten years previously. Most people in America would call this pedophilla and i would have to agree. I concluded by the end of the movie he did not have her best interest at heart but wanted to have a wife he knew he could control and would absolutely be a virgin. This idea can be drawn by his use of bow and arrow on the men who visited the fishing boat to fish if they even looked cross-eyed at the girl.
The girl herself seems clueless as to the fact he actually wants to marry her, until he starts bringing home wedding garb such as: Gowns, Hats, Shoes, and other accessories.He places them in an ornate looking cabinet in the room they share. They use bunk beds. Apparently there is no sexual activity as he counts down the days till their wedding on the calendar.
At this point ,a fishing party comes aboard and the young man in that group takes a liking to this girl. The old man notices but does nothing. The young man gave the girl a music device which later the old man smashes. The girl becomes curious and opens the cupboard that the old man has been keeping the wedding gear in. Now she realizes she will be on that boat forever with this old man and starts to think about the young man and the world outside.
The young man eventually returns. He confronts the old man with a flyer which contains photos of the girl as a child and tells him that parents exist who are looking for her. He also states that it is wrong for the old man to keep her on the boat isolated like he has been doing.
Finally, the girl agrees to go and with some struggle they take the smaller boat. The catch is, the old man the night before tied a rope on the boat. He then puts a noose around his neck as they leave. The boat moves on and the noose gets tighter and tighter, but the girl notices and cuts it just in time. Turning around, the young couple goes back to see the state of the old man. At this point, she decides to stay and marry the old man weather out of pity or fear who knows. There is a ceremony involving chickens. When this rite is over the young girl and old man leave in the small boat to conclude the day. The old man plays a mournful song on the erhu. I think the old man was guilt riddled and proceeds to kill himself by drowning. The small craft drifts back to the young man and some strange things take place with the girl (lets say in the supernatural realm). I will leave you to see this in the movie. I actually think it is what makes you go away with a disturbed feeling from the movie.
The reason I utilize young man, young girl and old man is because names were never really given to the characters. Once again I am posting on the fly so excuse the crudeness of my verse and diction. One last note that goes with the disturbing feeling in this movie. The old man gives fortune telling along with fishing expeditions. The girl agreeably goes down the side of the larger vessel and takes a seat on a swing in front of a painted Buddha. From the smaller fishing boat the old man fires sharpened arrows into the picture of the Buddha as she swings to and fro. She then pulls the arrows out of the boat and whispers to the old man the fortune of the person who asked.
Overall it is a good movie. The fact that all can be conveyed by virtually no linguistic interaction gets my vote for a great directorial edition. I advise people to see this if they are willing to be a little disturbed at the end and have an open mind. Following this article are cuts from the movie. Please enjoy and watch the entire film on Netflix instant view. Thank you and till next time may Buddha bless you.
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