Saturday, August 1, 2009

3-Iron Movie Review

3-Iron (Korean title: 빈집 or Bin-jip, meaning Empty Houses) is a 2004 artistic film from Kim Ki-duk. Although it is a drama/romance film it is also a piece of art and a masterpiece of cinema. Pure poetry.

I did not know what to expect when watching it but was pleasantly surprised by its simplicity and Zen like quality. There is almost no talking; maybe 10 minutes for the entire movie. The story is told through pure visuals and most dialog is by expression and eye contact.

Tae-suk is a young man with no ties (a drifter) that places restaurant flyers on people's doors. We soon find out the purpose of the flyer is that when he comes back in the evening he can see who has not come home often validated by the answering machine once he is inside. To gain entry he meticulously picks the lock not to cause damage; inside he showers, eats, and sleeps. In exchange for the home's "hospitality" he fixes things, does laundry, and cleans the home leaving it nicer than when he arrived (minus a little food).

Once of these homes he goes into we find that Sun-hwa is watching him. She is badly bruised and cut from her abusive husband and is fascinated by Tae-suk. Through a series of events he rescues her from more abuses from her husband. She then joins him on his journey and they live from house to house becoming closer to each other. Events and circumstances will shape where they are headed as the past is fast approaching.

8 out of 10 - A different type of movie that everyone must experience at some point. A little more character development and history of Tae-suk would have been nice to have; but not pivotal to the story. 3-Iron refers to a golf club and is a symbol for much more. Your home should be quiet when watching this; Korean with English subtitles (not much talking though so not much reading). The DVD does not have many extras but is a needed addition to any collection.

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