Love needs no words.
Starring: Jae Hee, Lee Seung-young, Kwon Hyuk-ho
My New Year’s resolution for this blog was to watch more movies. So, I consulted my Korean friend with a major in screen writing for some suggestions. I was delighted when he gave me a list of 16 total movies, among which was 3-Iron.
The story is one that focuses on the impermanence and imperfection of all things, except for love. Tae-suk (Jae Hee) lives a life of transcience, breaking into the houses of those who are vacationing and finding food and shelter for a day or two. He takes advertisements for restaraunts and goes door-to-door, taping each one, then leaves. He returns later to find the leaflets that remain, marking the empty houses. When he rides his motorbike into a mansion, he is unaware that he is silently being watched by an abused housewife, Sung-hwa (Lee Seung-young). Tae-suk witnesses the ill-treatment she receives from her golf-obsessed husband (Kwon Hyuk-ho), and is roused to anger. He takes a 3-iron golf club, and (without ever touching the man with it) defeats the “dragon” to save the princess. Sung-hwa joins Tae-suk in his ever-moving lifestyle, and wordlessly find love in each other. However, an unlucky break-in finds Tae-suk faced with the charge of murder (along with burgulary and kidnapping). He is acquitted, but in his anger, assaults an officer, and ends up in jail. Yet prison walls cannot keep the lovers apart.
I think a good song for this movie would be “Johanna” from Sweeney Todd. Especially the following lyrics:
I’ll steal you, Johanna.
I’ll steal you.
Do you think that walls can hide you?
Even now, I’m at your window.
I am in the dark beside you,
Buried sweetly in your yellow hair!
While Seung-young does not have yellow hair, the rest of the lyrics fit. Originally thought of as a stalker love song, I am gaining a new appreciation for this song without the creepy implications. In ways that I will not reveal (partly out of spoilers, and partly because the movie doesn’t even really say), Tae-suk becomes ghost-like, and is able to slip into houses undetected and wholly invisible to the residents within. Hence the cover. The only word spoken by our lovers is by Sung-hwa. Appearing to say “I love you” to her husband who embraces her, she reaches out to the unseen form of Tae-suk behind him.
Having most of the movie silent was a brilliant idea, and is expertly executed. Camera angles and lighting are all crafted to highlight the emotions of people, so that the picture painted really does speak a thousand words. It was both moving, intriguing, and surprising. I highly recommend this film!