27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
About as beautiful and grotesque as a film can get,
This review is from: The Isle [DVD]  (DVD)Like most of his movies, Kim Ki-Duk's The Isle is very unique. It is set on an isle in which small floating rooms are set up and rented out. The lake is run by a mute woman called Hee-Jin who spends most of her time maintaining these floating rooms and offering 'services' to its visitors. One day a man trying to escape his past arrives and he immediately attracts the attention of Hee-Jin. As the film progresses the two characters start to discover that they have feelings for each other.
The Isle is basically a love story albeit a dark twisted gruesome love story. Kim Ki-Duk has a unique way of letting his characters convey their feelings for each other. Both characters find it hard to express their love for each other by conventional methods, which isn't helped by the fact that one of them is mute. So the only way they can express themselves is through action and violence, which at times can be hard to look at. I'm not going to lie to you I did want turn away at certain parts and I've sat through some pretty gruesome movies. Let's just say that there is a reason for a fishing hook being on the front cover of the box. Both actors do an excellent job playing their characters, especially Seo Jeung who plays Hee-jin since she had to portray the character without saying a single word.
The DVD itself isn't the best that Tartan has released but it is still pretty good. It's filled with your usual trailers and behind the scene extras. The only disappointment I got was to learn that the BBFC cut a few minutes out of the film due to certain animal cruelty scenes.
I have always admired Kim Ki-Duk for his willingness to explore dark subject matters that other filmmakers tend to avoid and to do so in such a captivating way. The Isle manages to pull you in with its beautiful surroundings and then make you turn away in horror. The only criticism I have is that the film does seem to have a fairly slow pace which might put some people off. So overall if you are a fan of Kim Ki-Duk and Asia Extreme then The Isle is a perfect addition to your collection. If you like movies that are different and filled with controversy then I would also give this a try. Just remember this film is definitely not for everyone.