At turns strange, tragic, poignant, chilling and sweet-- and for all practical purposes a silent film -- "3-Iron" isan alluring romantic drama about a resourceful squatter in Seoul, SouthKorea, who finds empty houses to crash in by blanketing neighborhoods withpizza-delivery flyers.>
When Tae-suk (Jae Hee) returns to these areas at night,he breaks into the houses where flyers remain, assuming the owners areaway. He'll sleep in their beds, eat food from their refrigerators andtake souvenir photos of himself posing next to family portraits -- butin exchange he does loads of laundry or fixes broken clocks.>
But his curious subsistence takes an unexpected turn whenhe's caught sneaking around a wealthy home by the docile, abused youngwife (Lee Seung-yeon) of a temperamental businessman -- and within hourfeels compelled to save the girl (by wielding the titular golf club) whenher husband returns home in a rage.>
An instant bond forms between these misfits as Tae-suktakes Sun-hwa (Lee) under his wing, and she quickly embraces his vagabondlifestyle. Yet as they move from house to house on his motorcycle, an imbalancetakes hold in Tae-suk's string of luck, begetting a spiral of misfortunewith huge ramifications.>
Written and directed by Kim Ki-Duk (of this year's controversial"Bad Guy," and 2004's highly praised "Spring, Summer, Fall,Winter...and Spring"), "3-Iron" touches upon themes of loneliness,helplessness, aimlessness, coincidence, self-worth and hope as it growsmore odd and absorbing with twists of fate and uncanny character developmentsthat lead in unexpected directions.>
Remarkably, Kim brings this story vividly to life withalmost no dialogue. Jae and Lee give captivating, longing performanceswithout uttering a single word until two laconic lines of dialogue in theclosing minutes. It's a narrative choice that leaves you hanging on theirevery glance and gesture, and it makes the imaginative "3-Iron"all the more memorable.