8.1/10
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127 user 177 critic

3-Iron (2004)

Bin-jip (original title)
A transient young man breaks into empty homes to partake of the vacationing residents' lives for a few days.

Director:

Ki-duk Kim

Writer:

Ki-duk Kim

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15 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Seung-Yun Lee ... Sun-hwa
Hee Jae ... Tae-suk
Hyuk-ho Kwon Hyuk-ho Kwon ... Min-gyu (husband)
Jeong-ho Choi Jeong-ho Choi ... Jailor
Ju-seok Lee Ju-seok Lee ... Son of Old Man
Mi-suk Lee Mi-suk Lee ... Daughter-in-law of Old Man
Sung-hyuk Moon Sung-hyuk Moon ... Sung-hyuk
Ji-a Park Ji-a Park ... Jee-ah
Jae-yong Jang Jae-yong Jang ... Hyun-soo
Dah-hae Lee Dah-hae Lee ... Ji-eun
Han Kim Han Kim ... Man in Studio
Se-jin Park Se-jin Park ... Woman in Studio
Dong-jin Park Dong-jin Park ... Detective Lee
Jong-su Lee Jong-su Lee ... Man who Came Back from Family Trip
Ui-soo Lee Ui-soo Lee ... Woman who Came Back from Family Trip
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Storyline

A young drifter enters strangers' houses - and lives - while owners are away. He spends a night or a day squatting in, repaying their unwitting hospitality by doing laundry or small repairs. His life changes when he runs into a beautiful woman in an affluent mansion who is ready to escape her unhappy, abusive marriage. Written by Russian29

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

South Korea | Japan

Language:

Korean

Release Date:

15 October 2004 (South Korea) See more »

Also Known As:

3-Iron See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$20,084, 1 May 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$238,507, 14 August 2005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Kim ki-Duk wrote the screenplay of the movie in one month, the movie was filmed in 16 days and the film editing was done in 10 days. See more »

Goofs

His boxer-type BMW motorcycle, which has two cylinders, is dubbed with the sound of a four cylinder engine. See more »

Crazy Credits

A quote showing before the end credits: "It's hard to tell that the world we live in is either a reality or a dream." See more »

Connections

Featured in Shi gan (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Gafsa
Written by Atlas, Reynolds, Adams
Performed by Natacha Atlas
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Elegance saves shallow high concept
7 February 2006 | by Chris KnippSee all my reviews

Self-possessed, lone mute drifter Tae-suk (Hyun-kyoon Lee) who has a very spiffy new silver motorcycle and comes from God knows where, breaks into houses just to putter around, do laundry, clean up, and fix broken appliances. Some may be reminded of the girl in Wong Kar Wai's "Chungking Express" (Fayae Wong), but this chap isn't shyly romancing, he's just odd, and he enters the houses of complete strangers, shifting from house to house, testing to see who's not at home by leaving pizza ads on doorknobs, then coming back later to see which ones are still there. He never takes anything, but he tries out the homeowners' clothes, riffles through their mementos, and sleeps in their beds. He seems rather effeminate, since his whole thing is housekeeping. Accordingly first the young actor, on whom the whole film depends, seems to be just a little pretty-boy type, but he proves to have exceptional mime and acrobatic skills and a sly, defiant quality that is intriguing. The wordless sequences highlight the film's strong emphasis on photographic images, sound and picture, which are beautiful, chilly, and unique. An Arabic love song, played over and over after he connects with an abandoned and abused wife, is haunting, if a bit cloying after a while. After the young man beats up the abusive husband by pitching golf balls at him (an odd, recurrent theme, as is arty still photography of women), and goes off with the wife, he emerges as more of a man, a kind of pied piper of suburban frustration. He gets out of his depth when they move into a poor flat and discover a corpse, but the romance goes on....to the end... while remaining dreamlike and unreal.

Though the high-concept plot of this very quickly made, low budget film may seem rather pat and the director doesn't quite seem to know where to go with it, he does present a character and a mood that will stick in the mind.

Director Kim Ki-duk may be just a bit too much in love with his own ideas and stylistic tics. Kim Ki-duk's previous film "Spring, summer, Fall, Winter....and Spring," seemed too contrived and fanciful, and the same ultimately is rather true of this, though this time happily we are free of dubious Buddhist overtones.

Though not really violent, "3-Iron" has plot elements that remind one of Park Chan-wook's "Oldboy," and I'm beginning to wonder if there is something wacky about the Korean imagination that I am never going to be tuned in to; but a nice, very thought-provoking ending redeems the wandering last quarter section. I'd rate this higher than Spring, "Summer, Fall..." etc. but not put it in the prize category. Kim has originality and a strong visual sense; his fantasies are ultimately not altogether convincing. Nonetheless the idea of "3-Iron" is distinctive enough to be memorable. It may cause you to muse for some time to come about fantasy lovers and household sprites -- or ponder the moral status of someone who breaks the law only to do good.


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