Two obsessive-compulsives, a chef and an anorexic writer, are neighbors in an apartment building. The chef (301) tries to entice her neighbor to eat with fabulous meals. The writer (302) ... See full summary »
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Two obsessive-compulsives, a chef and an anorexic writer, are neighbors in an apartment building. The chef (301) tries to entice her neighbor to eat with fabulous meals. The writer (302) refuses to eat, and this refusal begins a turbulent relationship that forces both women to delve into their pasts of torment. Written by
Erik Gregersen <email@example.com>
The woman living alone in apartment 302 is a writer who finds food repulsive and indigestible. Her new neighbor across the hall, living alone in 301, is a cook who is obsessed with food to the point where it dictates her life. Upon discovering her new neighbor's dislike for food, 301 makes it her mission to make 302 eat and enjoy her delectable meals. This leads to a very twisted relationship between the two women, as well as an exploration into the nasty experiences that influenced their current relationships with food.
This Korean film is a cinematic oddity that is definitely a unique viewing experience. It is filled with rather disgusting visuals of food preparation (vegetarians, this is a warning!). The close-ups of people gorging on various food items are bound to make anyone squeamish. The DVD I saw was full screen and the transfer appeared poor, but the cinematography is great with an excellent use of vivid colors. Also, the inventive set design deserves praise, as most of the film takes place either in 302 (very sterile, library-like apartment) or 301 (very sleek and vibrant restaurant-like apartment with a futuristic looking kitchen). The two lead actresses give terrific performances and it is perverse fun watching them torment each other.
The story moves at a slow pace but it works. There are various interesting flashbacks that are crucial to the plot, but unlike other movies with stories that are not told chronologically, this timeline is not difficult to follow. However, what actually happens during one of the flashbacks was a bit confusing due to the way that particular scene was filmed. This scene seemed vital to the story, so I think part of this movie was lost on me. One common theme in the movie is a link between sex and food that is not completely explored but still fascinating and provoking.
301,302 is an interesting and original but often confusing film that I would recommend to folks interested in Asian horror cinema beyond the current popular films. As is the case is with swimming, do not view this after or while eating!
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