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...
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A sixty and something year old captain has been raising for ten years a girl since she was six in his old fishing vessel that is permanently anchored offshore with the intention of marrying her on her seventeenth birthday. He survives bringing fishermen to fish in the vessel and predicting the future using his bow and shooting arrows in a Buddhist painting on the hull of the vessel while the girl moves back and forth in a swing. He also uses the bow and arrows to protect the girl against sexual assault of the fishermen. They live happily until the day that a teenage student comes to the ship and the girl feels attracted to him. When the teenager discovers that the girl was abducted when she was six and does not know the world, he returns to the vessel to bring the girl back to her parents.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Having seen (and absolutely loved) Kim Ki-Duk's Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring this was a must-see at the Cleveland Int'l Film Festival this year.
Alas, it's just not magical enough.
I liked that the Old Man and the Young Girl never had dialog; it was the juxtaposition of the paying, fishing clientèle that was at odds with their relationship. As well, the use of the bow as a weapon was certainly effective, but the use of the bow as a badly-dubbed musical instrument was cheesy at best.
The plot was contrived, an ancient tale sent in contemporary times, uselessly introducing an anachronistic element into the plot line. The use of magical realism was spare and poorly timed, not being acceptable as a shift from the mostly concrete concerns and sensibilities of the rest of the movie.
This was a movie that got more and more disappointing as I watched it. The advice of more broadly-schooled Kim Ki-Duk fans would be good to follow: look for his "masterpieces", not this or other "more mainstream works".
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