Director – Kim Ki-duk – 2000 – South Korea – Cert. 18 – 89m
Review originally published in What’s On In London to coincide with the film’s UK theatrical release.
Latest UK release from Korean maverick director Kim Ki-duk (Bad Guy; Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter…and Spring) has a unique setting: an isolated lake upon which float small chalets on rafts available for hire by punters. The proceedings never leave these immediate surroundings, which include the shack with a jetty on the shore – from which proprietress Hee-Jin (Im Suh Jung) hires out the chalets and sometimes her body – and a mysterious isle in the lake’s centre.
She embarks upon a relationship with life-weary punter and ex-cop Hyun-shik (Kim Yoo-suk), bringing unexpected changes to them both.
This is not a film for the faint-hearted, containing as it does some pretty unsettling imagery involving physical sexual activity and fish hooks, even if much of this is suggested rather than shown.
What we’re seeing here has been slightly pruned at the request of the UK censor the BBFC, notably of scenes involving the slicing off of a live fish’s sides before the camera which have been removed on grounds of animal cruelty.… Read the rest