Tuesday, September 9, 2008

3-IRON (Ki-duk Kim, South Korea)

A truly beautiful minimalistic masterpiece concerning a young man who trespasses into peoples homes when they're away and lives in their apartments, eats their food, wears their clothes, but leaves nothing of himself behind. He enters unobtrusively and for every item he consumes he gives an equal share back; he fixes broken appliances, he hand-washes their laundry, and he leaves the apartment a little better than he found it. He does have one small quirk: he likes to photograph himself amid the tenants belongings. One day he meets an abused woman and together they begin an emotional and spiritual journey together in search of their identity and passion. Our protagonist never speaks and our heroine utters six words (in translation anyway) so their feelings and thoughts are focused through facial expression and body language: a common occurrence in a Ki-duk Kim film. As our protagonist faces many obstacles throughout the story such as police brutality, being accused of murder and kidnapping, we know that he is a good man (though not perfect...he does attack Sun-hwa's husband. The reason may seem justified but it is a self-destructive path) and his feelings for Sun-hwa are true. The ending is sublime.

Final Grade: (A)