Mute Hee-Jin is working as a clerk in a fishing resort in the Korean wilderness; selling baits, food and occasionally her body to the fishing tourists. One day she falls in love to ... See full summary »
Mute Hee-Jin is working as a clerk in a fishing resort in the Korean wilderness; selling baits, food and occasionally her body to the fishing tourists. One day she falls in love to Hyun-Shik, who is on the run for the police and rescues him with a fish hook, when he tries to commit suicide. Written by
Moritz Muehlenhoff <email@example.com>
Now this is a great example of horror. Not your slasher, undead walking, predictable spoon fed story. Instead, the Isle's simple setting proves that looks can be deceiving as calm waters and clear blue skies belie the murky depths and secrets hidden within.
I never realized the symbolism in this movie: fishing, bait, the simple action of simply tossing back an unwanted catch back in the water. Scenes most striking and prominent contained little or even no dialogue. The soundtrack is subtle, yet highly effective in establishing mood. Then again, anyone who has gone fishing can appreciate the tranquil, and peaceful state which can be very rewarding. How about human relationships? How about the bad times or deep hurts so traumatizing which cannot be shared with anyone. Do we walk burdened carrying deep pains like say a wounded scaled fish? Although it may be wounded, it still goes on swimming in its daily routine. Our two main characters throughout the film really catch you offguard. Let's just say "misery loves company". This horror is more psychological and more tangible than what you would usually see on screen.
I was impressed by Jung Suh who really displays the strength of Hee-Jin, and at the same time shows a frail, tragic side. Her routine actions like steering the boat, tending to the renters' are done so convincingly that you feel like you're at the lake watching true events unfold. Credit also Ki-Duk Kim for directing this without making it into a sappy love story and not going overboard or too artsy. Be warned: the Isle is laced with dark humor and will have you thinking about it after it is done. I really appreciate films that are able to do that.
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