The Bow | Chicago Reader

The Bow

South Korean director Kim Ki-duk consolidates the gains of his excellent 3-Iron and Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter . . . and Spring in this 2005 drama about an aging seaman's infatuation with a teenage girl. For ten years they've been living together on the old man's fishing boat, taking sportsmen out to sea; as the girl's 17th birthday nears, he begins planning their nuptials, but his scheme is complicated by her crush on a handsome young man who's come on board. The powerful relationship hatched in isolation between an adolescent and an aging mentor strongly recalls Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter . . . and Spring, and as in 3-Iron, the central relationship is boldly drawn through the characters' actions, the drama unfolding mostly in silence. Kim overplays his hand at the end with a grandiose moment of erotic symbolism, but it's a clear advance over the psychosexual extremes of his early work. In Korean with subtitles. 90 min.

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