Hwal (The Bow) (2007)



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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, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Hwal (The Bow)

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (1)

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

Mar 28, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

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

Sep 27, 2007 | Full Review…

How does the guy come up with this stuff?

Jul 19, 2007 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

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

Feb 26, 2007 | Rating: 7/10 | Full Review…

A minor work from a major talent.

Jun 22, 2006 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

A painful experience that no amount of eye candy can make up for.

Mar 28, 2006 | Rating: 32/100 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Hwal (The Bow)


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
Wu Chouin

Super Reviewer

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
Luke Baldock

Super Reviewer

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