You don't have to be into religion to understand and allow yourself to get into this movie. Excellently set on a secluded lake in the mountains in Korea, director Kim Ki-duk has created a classic love story with a religious twist with the movie Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, And Spring. The movie doesn't have a lot of talking and characters. The title is used to show the growing up of a young boy and shows a few valuable lessons on the way. The old man and his student live on a floating monastery, away from all life and that is significant because it shows that you don't need to be around people 24/7 to live life to the fullest. To be honest I didn't think I was going to make it through this movie.
It didn't have a lot of talking I think I could count the number of conversations on my hand. But it was something very powerful about this movie that caught me, I think it was the sense of the father and son bonding, something that isn't very common. Another thing that was special to me about this movie is the fact that it stays in its common setting through the whole movie. It never leaves the lake. Also how there were lessons being taught through out. One that I really found special was when the boy was a child and he tied stones to 3 different animals, cause it was his idea of having fun and the wise old monk told him to go find each animal and free them and if any of the animals were dead, then he would live with that on his heart for ever.
The twist to this lesson though was the old monk tied a big stone to the kid and made him go find the animals, to show him how it felt. The film is supposed to be about Buddhism, and don't get me wrong it was, but I figured when I heard it was a religion filled movie I thought " oh no another boring movie" but I was sadly mistaken. It followed the Buddhist philosophies that guide the lives of the 2 (the old monk and the boy) and gives you some life lessons that you can keep on the way. Another thing that was weird about this movie was that no names were told at all. So if you want to refer to a character, the your going to have to stay the boy or the sick girl or the cops or something like that. I cant say why the director did this but there has to be some special reason for it.
The boy grows up just as normal as any other kid, he played on his own, and learned the basic childhood lessons, right from wrong, and who his lord and savior was and that life is a series of long events, some that will benefit you when you become an adult. As he gets into the teenage years of his life he is struck with the arrival of a sick girl who they must take care of until she is healthy again. Here is where another lesson comes in. The old monk said it perfectly, I believe it was " with love comes death" And just like the old monk said, the boy fell in love with the girl and it was just at the time that the girl was at full health. So the girl left and the boy was heart broken so he prayed to Buddha, I believed he asked for help and the answer he got was to follow the girl and that's what he did. He took the statue of Buddha and found the girl and married her.
Then came the results of the lesson, apparently she cheated on him and he killed her. With love comes death. I honestly have never thought love was that strong, but I'm still kind of young. All of the actors played their roles to the fullest. The director really showed that dialog isn't vital in a movie to really understand the meaning and lessons and stay interested.
That is what I think really makes this movie so powerful. It shows all of the emotions that everyone encounters on a daily basis, happiness, sadness, heartbreak, love, stress, pleasure, and pain, just in a silent approach. I have never enjoyed a religious movie as much as this one it applied the Buddhism ways to the lives of two people and their everyday lives, giving lessons along the way as examples to help you understand this religion and the ways the people who worship this way carry their everyday lives. So if you are interested in a emotional roller coaster of a movie with valuable life lessons, then I suggest you go see "Spring, Summer, Fall Winter, and Spring" it will be worth the 2 hours, trust me.