Hwal (The Bow) (2007) - Rotten Tomatoes

Hwal (The Bow) (2007)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

A crusty old man and his teenage bride-to-be find their secluded life at sea turned upside down with the arrival of a mysterious teenage boy in The Isle director Kim Ki-duk's quiet and contemplative drama. They've been together for ten years, and as the girl's seventeenth birthday draws near so does the union of this unlikely May-December couple. Aside from his young companion, the thing in life that the old man holds dearest to his heart is his bow. Not only is the bow an effective means of warding off would-be suitors who would seek to spirit away his young shipmate, but a shamanistic fortune-telling device and a musical instrument capable of producing enchanting melodies as well. After drifting on the ocean waves together for an entire decade, this couple suddenly finds the waters becoming treacherous not by the wrath of mother nature, but the introduction of a teenage boy whose presence quickly upsets the pending wedding plans. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovimore
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Romance, Art House & International
Directed By:
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 26, 2007
Tartan Films - Official Site

News & Interviews for Hwal (The Bow)

Critic Reviews for Hwal (The Bow)

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (2)

An elegiac portrait of elemental love complicated by the outside world.

Full Review… | March 28, 2006
Top Critic

April 1, 2006
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

Brushes close to offensive material, but it has an unexpected sweetness and skill that keeps it from toppling over the edge.

Full Review… | September 27, 2007
Combustible Celluloid

How does the guy come up with this stuff?

Full Review… | July 19, 2007

Une oeuvre de synthèse consacrant les derniers efforts de Kim Ki-duk comme certains des plus importants du cinéma sud-coréen des années 2000.

Full Review… | February 26, 2007

A minor work from a major talent.

Full Review… | June 22, 2006
Film Freak Central

Audience Reviews for Hwal (The Bow)

Another piece of sublime Ki-Duk. Here he takes many of his previous themes (a strange and complex relationship) and joins it with his recurring motifs such as the surrounding environment being entirely water. This keeps are characters shut off and pure. The lack of dialogue is of course present (or not) as is the mistreatment of animals as symbolism. Ki-Duk has perfected his craft and the strangest thing here is despite the obvious darkness to the plot the film is very tame. Again it is the subtleties and slow unveiling of events that really help enhance the beauty of the film, even if it has been done better before.

Luke Baldock

Super Reviewer


Strange and moody character study about a old man and girl on a boat. Nothing much happens, but it's still weirdly intriguing. Not the best work from Ki-duk Kim.

Wu Chouin

Super Reviewer

Usually I go out of my way to write a review because a film was particularly good. The bow inspired me for opposite reasons.

What is sad about this film is it had potential to be a 4 out of 5 star film. With a strong start, other than the obvious fake music mimicry, it eventually trailed off into weirdness that made no valid sense at all.

***WARNING SPOILIER*** So this young teenage girl is about to be married to a fisherman who has taken care of her for 10 years though her parents are still out there looking for her. She finally comes to her senses when her attractions turn towards a man closer to her own age.

She fends off the fisherman's jealously, violence, control, and extreme manipulation. When she just about to finally leave him for good the old fisherman pulls one more major manipulative stunt which guilt?s her into marrying him. Instead of consummating their marriage physically he commits suicide which might in some way seem a nobler alternative. But his spirit ends up having sex with her while she is in a sleep like trance breaking her hymen with an arrow that falls from the sky he shot before his death.

In the final scene she sails away with her previous crush waving in some over the top maudlin sentiment as their fishing boat sinks to the bottom of the sea.

Just writing it down makes me realize even more just how dumb this movie really was. I mean was the writer 16 when he wrote this or did he just get so bored he decided to kill his own story with absurdity. He's got potential but has got some maturing to do to say the least.

Paul Fratianni

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