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>
The Isle is a hard film to evaluate. It pulls the viewer's emotions in every different conceivable direction, from empathy to outright horror and everything in between. After it ended I wasn't sure if I was going to cry or to throw up; I didn't know if I was sad or happy or hopelessly angry. Either way, the film's images will probably haunt me for many years to come.
The film is beautifully photographed, making excellent use of the isolated fishing lake setting. All of the actors are perfect, even in scenes more painfully grotesque than anything I've seen in a film before. I simply cannot imagine the artistic process that went on during production-- how did the filmmakers raise the money to make this film, and how did they direct the actors to create such convincing performances from such outlandish material? And whose idea was it to end it like that?
I loved many things about this film, but I find it hard to recommend because of a few scenes involving really heartless animal cruelty. A fish is mutilated and partially eaten while it's still alive; a dog is yanked around by its collar and slapped; another fish is jolted with electrodes. Of course the humans in the film suffer much worse misfortunes, but the characters mostly deserve what they get, whereas the animals do not. Also, the scenes of human violence are created using makeup effects, but the animals have no such luck-- as far as I can tell, they're really slicing flesh off a live fish and eating it.
All I can really say is, see The Isle and make up your own mind about it. It will cause completely different individual reactions in every single member of the audience, and if you love it, good for you. If you hate it, I think I can understand why.
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