90 Movies in 90 Days: 3-Iron (2004)

I’m kicking off 2023 by trying to watch and review one movie every day for the first 90 days, all of which will be 90 minutes or less.

Title: 3-Iron
Release Date: September 2004
Director: Kim Ki-duk
Production Company: Kim Ki-duk Film | Cineclick Asia

A young itinerant, Tae-suk (Jae Hee), breaks into houses when the owners are away and makes it his temporary home.  He steals nothing apart from food and spends his time repairing broken objects and taking selfies with the homeowners’ property.  At one house he discovers that one of the residents, a young former model named Sun-hwa (Lee Seung-yeon), is actually at home.  She is abused by her husband Min-gyu (Kwon Hyuk-ho) and stays quietly in her home to hide her bruises.

Tae-suk and Sun-hwa form a bond and run off together, continuing Tae-suk’s life of occupying other peoples’ houses.  Their’s is a silent relationship, as Norma Desmond says “”We didn’t need dialogue. We had faces!”  The movie takes on more and more of a fantasy element that by the end text on the screen asks whether it is a reality and a dream.  The movie is an interesting concept and the leads’ silent acting is well-done, although it stretches credulity at points.

Rating: ***1/2