Tuesday, May 1, 2012

977. Bin-jip/3-Iron (2004)

Running Time: 90 minutes
Directed By: Kim Ki-duk
Written By: Kim Ki-duk
Main Cast: Jae Hee, Lee Seung-yeon, Kwon Hyuk-ho
Click here to view the trailer


Just to forewarn you, with this week being the week that Karen and I bring "Seven Shadows" to your doorstep, expect to get bombarded with posts on this blog. For starters, you'll have the seven posts that will make up "Seven Shadows" and since those are already written and ready to go, you'll also have me continuing to draw myself closer to the halfway mark of THE BOOK and post reviews on a regular basis.

Tae-suk (Jae Hee) is a drifter and a loner. He doesn't have a home and spends his days cruising on his BMW motorcycle and hanging flyers on people's doors. Later in the day Tae-suk revisits the homes that he hung flyers on and if the flyers are still hanging, he breaks in and makes himself at home. In most cases, the homeowners are on vacation or away on business. Tae-suk doesn't break in with evil intentions, but rather to do his laundry and sleep somewhere other than the street. In fact, Tae-suk usually goes the extra mile and does some chores for the unknowing victims of his harmless "B&E's", such as fixing their stereos and watering their plants. The film picks up steam when Tae-suk breaks into the home of a business man and husband, while he's away. What Tae-suk doesn't know is that the businessman's wife, Sun-hwa (Lee Seung-yeon) is still in the home. She follows him around, watching him do his usual routine when entering a strange home and finally, as he masturbates to some snapshots of her, he notices her. He especially notices her bruised face and signs of domestic violence. When the husband returns, Tae-suk punishes him for what he has done to his wife, by swinging golf balls at him and bloodying him up. From there, Sun-hwa joins Tae-suk on his roaming adventures.

"3-Iron" is not a straightforward film. In fact, I'd even go so far to say that "3-Iron" isn't going to be for everyone's tastes. However, I thought it was brilliant, in a word. It's funny, because there were elements of this picture that I really could have torn apart and nitpicked over, but when it came down to it, I couldn't stop basking at the sheer beauty and poetry that was conveyed here. This is only the second Kim Ki-duk (or should it be said "Ki-duk Kim"?) film I've ever seen, with the other one being "The Isle", which has stuck with me well, but that I didn't care for upon my one and only viewing. It's probably something that needs to be seen again, but I'm rambling and getting off topic. "3-Iron" actually reminded me of one of my personal favorite films and one of the sins of omission from THE BOOK; "Last Life in the Universe". A story about two people, with no one else in the world and nothing to really live for, happening upon one another and giving the other one purpose.

In "3-Iron" our main character, Tae-suk has absolutely no dialogue and our other main character, Sun-hwa, speaks only three words throughout the entire picture. It's a movie where questions arise and things don't always make sense, but one where the questions seem to play second fiddle to just sitting back and experiencing the film. The ending is quite ambiguous too and just for the record, the "the ending is open ended so that the viewer can decide what he/she wants to happen" thing isn't all it's cracked up to be and is more the sign of a lazy writer than a brilliant film. However, that's kind of the deal here, as the ending (in addition to various other segments of the film) are kind of left up to each individual viewer to decide and as the ending line suggests, the line between reality and dream is blurred, somewhat...or not, it's up to you, I guess. As I watched "3-Iron", though, I wasn't as fixated on deciphering the code of the movie or trying to answer the questions, as much as I was, like I said, just letting it all happen and enjoying the experience. The actors (unseasoned ones, I believe) did a marvelous job and Lee Seung-yeon was hard to look away from, as her beauty radiated through the screen. Check this one out for sure, but don't rack your brain trying to answer questions and write the films ending. This film is like a piece of poetry - you may not understand it entirely, but you know it's beautiful. And, for the record, I'll admit that I have a few theories on the events of the film, but they haven't all come together clearly enough yet and another viewing could do the trick in sorting some things out.

RATING: 10/10  It seems like I should've written more for a '10' review, but that's all I got. An easy candidate for my TOP 20 and we're smack dab in the middle of an absolutely EPIC batch of 100.


May 1, 2012  1:29am

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