IMDb > The Bow (2005)
Hwal
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The Bow (2005) More at IMDbPro »Hwal (original title)


Overview

User Rating:
7.2/10   7,474 votes »
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Release Date:
12 May 2005 (South Korea) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
A girl who thought the sea was the whole world became the whole world to one old man.
Plot:
On a fishing boat at sea, a 60-year old man has been raising a girl since she was a baby. It is agreed that they will get married on her 17th birthday, and she is 16 now. They live a quiet and secluded life, renting the boat to day fishermen and practicing strange divination rites. Their life changes when a teenage student comes aboard... Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
2 wins & 2 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
Hwal (The Bow)
 (From The Hollywood Reporter. 9 June 2005)

User Reviews:
Poetry in silence See more (33 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)
Yeo-reum Han ... The young girl (as Han Yeo-reum)
Si-jeok Seo ... The student
Gook-hwan Jeon ... The student's father
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Seong-hwang Jeon ... Old Man (no name)
Seok-hyeon Jo ... Third Man

Directed by
Ki-duk Kim 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Ki-duk Kim 

Produced by
Yong-gyu Kang .... co-producer
Ki-duk Kim .... producer
Michiko Suzuki .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Eun-il Kang 
 
Cinematography by
Seong-back Jang 
 
Film Editing by
Ki-duk Kim 
 
Production Design by
Sol Art Chung 
 
Costume Design by
Kyung-mi Kim 
 
Makeup Department
Ki-sun Kim .... key makeup artist
 
Production Management
Seok-bin Jang .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Hun Jang .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Hyun-soo Jeung .... sound
 
Music Department
Eun-il Kang .... composer: additional music
 
Transportation Department
Joyce Kirkconnell .... driver
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Hwal" - South Korea (original title)
See more »
Runtime:
France:90 min | Canada:88 min (Montréal Film Festival) | Argentina:90 min (Mar del Plata Film Festival)
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Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:

FAQ

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
Poetry in silence, 31 December 2010
Author: p-stepien from United Kingdom

Probably Kim Ki-Duk's second most pivotal work to date "Hwai" ("The Bow") tells a story of unconventional love - one full of obsession, unfulfilled dreams and poetry. An old fisherman (Seong-hwang Jeon) lives on a decrepit boat together with a coming of age girl, which he rescued from death at sea, when she was no more than 8 years old. She came to live with him on this boat, where her only contact with the outside world are hobbyists, who pay money to come to fish at sea. All that keeps them company are themselves and the delicate music of a bow instrument. After years of caring after the girl the old man has come to love her, but not in a fatherly way. His longing is to marry the beautiful orphan once she reaches the required age...

Kim Ki-Duk is capable of beautiful storytelling, as is to be confirmed by such works of brilliance as "Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter... and Spring". And "The Bow" comes extremely close to such exceptionality, albeit never finally overcomes it's own weaknesses. Nonetheless this is an extremely enjoyable and delightful movie, even though filled with unrealised passions and immoral egoism. Even though the script is extremely simple, even threadbare, it never lingers and keeps you enthralled throughout. Not only by the impressive cinematography, but also the subtle acting and storytelling complemented by a riveting score.

Nonetheless the issues with Kim Ki-Duk as a storyteller are quite apparent. The strength of his movie is in lyricism, romanticism and ideas that do not necessarily fit in well with the modern cynicism of today. As long as the poetry is silent the magic overwhelms you. But the moment Kim Ki-Duk's characters start talking the spell is broken, as everything becomes mundane and at times even corny. Thankfully for "The Bow" our two main protagonists do not utter a word throughout the whole movie, whilst outsiders come few and far between. This allows the director to keep his movie consistent in its poetry, something which he was unable to convey in more previous movies such as "Dream" or "Time", where poetry transforms into 'corniness' and the story sells itself short. Even in "The Bow" you have a couple of very awkward scenes, which didn't seem to fit and came out as forcibly placed into the movie (especially a rather awkward self-masturbation scene near the end of it all).

Nonetheless a required watch for anyone who likes a bit of Buddhist philosophy for dinner.

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