Enigmatic, otherworldly, at times cruel, but ultimately strikingly human. Two profoundly damaged people find communion in brutal acts of self-destruction. There is, however, a marked tenderness to their relationship that carries this film out of the mire of violence and brings us someplace strange and elemental and intensely beautiful.
A precise and perverse purpose is at play in this film that established Kim Ki-duk as a new 'enfant terrible' in the early millennium. The film is full of staggering beauty yet coupled with extreme violence and overt sexuality in its tale of broken souls, isolation and shared pain. Yet it is a love story...and a powerful one at that. Not for all tastes but the rewards are evident.