Written by: Ki-Duk Kim
Genre: Drama, Art House
Colour, 103 Minutes
I discovered this film from some film enthusiast friends. All I saw was a title, so I did a little research. It seemed like an interesting film from Korea, so I watched it, and I am glad I did. Despite not having very much dialogue or characters in the film has a quiet and tranquil atmosphere that for patient viewer, it sums up for good entertainment. The acting, for what it was, was interesting and the cinematography is definitely worthwhile seeing for a relaxing 100 minutes.
The film is divided into five sections looking over spring, summer, fall, winter and then spring again, with each having a philosophical agenda and lesson it follows a monk and his pupil.
The cinematography is a big factor here, as it supports the story. We may only really see one area, being that giant lake with the floating temple, for most of the runtime, but seeing it closed off from the world in its peaceful, natural and tranquil location is breath taking and very soothing to watch for some reason. Not to mention director Ki-Duk Kim's direction that follows the story beautifully.
The film requires a bit of patience and appreciation to an extent. It is clear that someone who loves Michael Bay and Adam Sandler would find this boring, but if you love a slow progression, with sub-text and deep meaning and beautiful filmmaking, this film may be worth watching more than once with all its beautiful shots, solid for-what-it-is acting and story.
Verdict: Certainly, a surprise for me with not being familiar with any of the filmmakers involved, but definitely an entertaining experience that will take you on its calm journey likely to leave you with an enlightened and soft mood with its stunning visuals.
Age Certificate: 15
Country: South Korea, Germany