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
Of the films I've managed to get a look at, Kim Ki-Duk has made at least three that are powerfully evocative. "The Bow" isn't one of them. After the principal theme (if you could call it that) was presented, I kept waiting for something else, something compelling, or, if nothing else, some odd tangent that would take the film somewhere else.
Instead, all that happens is repetition - the old man and his bow taking pot-shots at fishermen leering at his teen-aged captive grew tedious. How could he stay in business if he kept threatening his clientèle? And isn't it slightly illegal to assault people with a deadly weapon? Ah, but it's only a metaphor! But even a metaphor needs some consummation, which the viewer (and the old man) never gets. Even the erotic aspect of the story is insufficiently explored. Compare this film with Polanski's "Knife in the Water" and it comes up terribly short.
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