After a short hiatus (I really don’t know where the time has gone the past two weeks!) my IMDB challenge continues with Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter… and Spring (let’s call it Spring for short).
Spring is a South Korean film which follows a young boy who is being taught how to be a monk by a wise old master. The film is split into four main vignettes, each one named after a different season, which represent the different stages in the boy’s life. Each vignette deals with a different theme of humanity, including cruelty, love and redemption, and we are shown how each of these impact on the boy as he progresses through life.
I must admit that Spring was a film which I was not particularly looking forward to. I made the classic error of prejudging a film based on its DVD cover and I had decided straight away that this film was not for me. As I started watching the film, all I wanted to do was to get this one out of the way so that I could continue with my challenge but as the film progressed, I found myself slowly falling for its meditative charm and by the end of the film I was taken in by its scope and by the statement it was trying to make about life in general. However, it was only after the credits had rolled and I was reflecting on the film that I started to realise how good a film this is.
I must also admit that I am not entirely sure I fully understood the film after just the one viewing which creates a little bit of a dilemma for me in trying to review the film. Part of me (the emotive part) thinks this film was great – truly original and fresh. However, another part of me (the rational part) cannot find the reason why I thought that this film was great. Perhaps that is not a bad thing, as Spring is a film which I will definitely watch again (therefore it has the potential for repeat viewings), however, for me, a truly great film is one which has impact the first time you watch it and stays with you long after the credits roll. Therefore Spring is only partly successful in that respect.
Credit must also go to the fantastic cinematography and score which really add to the atmosphere of the film. The location of the film (set on a floating monastery in the middle of a lake) is such a calming location that it really adds to the meditative nature of the film – an important concept in Buddhist life.
Overall, this is a film which I would recommend to those who enjoy slow paced films which grow on you as time passes. However, if you are looking for a film with impact which you can fully appreciate and enjoy as you watch it, then this one might not be for you.