This was not what I expected, although saying that, I wasn't 100% sure what to expect. Everyone who I'd spoke to about it (well, the two people, one of whom lent me the DVD, cheers Conal), said that "you have to be in the right frame of mind for it", I kinda knew what that meant, especially after watching The Straight Story (which I haven't watched all of yet), so I was waiting for the time when I was in the right frame of mind.
That never seemed to come about. So, seeing as this was a borrowed DVD, I thought, sod it, I'm gonna watch it.
I'm glad I did, it's a beautiful, peaceful yet moving piece, the sort of film that you don't see very often, very little dialogue, beautifully shot, accomplished acting, brilliantly scripted and overall a joy to watch.
This is the first of Ki-Duk Kim's films that I've seen (he also makes an appearance in the latter part of the film) and I think it's a good place to start.
It is a very calm film, not slow because apart from the odd couple of lingering landscape shots, it's extremely well paced. For the most part the film focusses on it's two central characters, the old bhuddist monk and his young (companion/apprentice?!?), who grows up over the course of the film. During the second act, a young girl comes to the floating temple they live on and the young monk's world is thrown into disarray.
Although the film is visually beautiful, it's not overly stylised as something like House of Flying Daggers is, it remains very natural looking and allows the landscape it's set in to define the look of the piece.
Subtle, moving and inspiring. Now that I've watched it, I don't agree with "You have to be in the right frame of mind", I think the film gives you that frame of mind.
Bom yeoreum gaeul gyeoul geurigo bom - 8/10