Friday, April 25, 2008


This is a movie.

This was a strange movie.

This movie, the main protagonists, didn't say one single word. Oh wait. The female protagonist did...."I love you."

This movie was original in every way. Even though there wasn't much dialogue, the supporting cast did speak, it was very thought provoking and a good storyline, IMO!

The Tae-Suk (
Jae Hee) was a person who broke into empty houses, borrowed the owner's food, necessities, clothes...and in return, fixed broken things, did the dishes, washed laundry, cleaned, did whatever as payment for use of the homes. He never usually stole anything. One house he borrows, thought it was empty, but it wasn't. There hidden in a room is Sun-wha. Her husband is abusive. Tae-Suk goes about the house like he usuallly does not knowing she is there. Sun-wha follows him around. Eventually, she makes herself known (at an inappropriate time).

Director Kim Ki-duk shows the brutality in society but also tells a tender love story and offers a critique of modern life.

By Kevin Thomas, NY Times Staff Writer

Kim Ki-duk's deliciously audacious "3-Iron" is a romantic fable that in its telling lays bare the casual brutality that lies just beneath the surface in Korean society and by extension just about every other country. Alternately witty, caustic, tender and endlessly imaginative and unpredictable, this latest film from one of Korea's most idiosyncratic and prolific directors is as confident as its resourceful hero, Tae-suk (Jae Hee).

Tae-suk has fashioned for himself a most unusual existence. He drives through Seoul's highly varied residential neighborhoods on his motorcycle, posting fliers on front doors. He then returns after some time has passed to discover if any remain. If a flier is still there he takes the chance that the occupants of the house or apartment are on vacation and he proceeds to pick the door lock and enter. He checks answering machines, which invariably reveal that the occupants are away and will return on such and such date. Tae-suk swiftly settles in, helping himself to any food on hand but also repairing any appliance he finds broken and laundering any dirty clothes. He always leaves a residence immaculate.

One day while driving through an upscale neighborhood that could easily pass for a section of Trousdale or Mount Olympus, he selects a luxurious modern house for breaking and entering. After surveying the nouveau riche interiors, including gold-leafed matched living room and dining room furniture in an opulent Empire style, he quickly moves in. When he repairs a bathroom scale, the young mistress of the house, Sun-hwa (Lee Seung-yeon), who has been hiding, becomes sufficiently convinced that he is no ordinary burglar and steps out of the darkness. A quick series of incidents propels Sun-hwa into fleeing her brutal husband, Min-kyu (Kwon Hyuk-ho), on the back of Tae-suk's motorcycle.

So completely are Tae-suk and Sun-hwa in harmony that they never need to say as much as a single word to each other, and Sun-hwa, a neatness freak herself, happily joins him in his housesitting and gradually falls in love.

Such an existence is inevitably fragile, and it leads to adventures and incidents that attest at once to the harshness of modern life and also to the tenacity and resilience of the individual, as in the case of this couple whose love becomes seriously tested.

It is significant that one residence taken over by the couple has caring and hospitable owners who are not thrown by encountering them in their home and garden, which are in traditional Korean style and bespeak beauty and civility. The film's title comes from a golf club belonging to Min-kyu, a sport with which Tae-suk becomes obsessed.

"3-Iron" is full of sly, surprising touches that contribute to a fresh vision of modern life that is critical of its unthinking, reflexive cruelty and materialism yet not despairing of the power of love.

As a romantic team, Jae Hee and Lee Seung-yeon are as captivating as the film itself.

Yeah, what he said.

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