3 – Iron (2004) is one of the most beautiful films–in my opinion–that I have seen in a long time. There is just something about love–being in love and your lover being unknown to the rest of the world– that makes it all the more unique. In this movie by Kim Ki-Duk, he explores that fascination of this type of love experience–and masters the art of anonymity.
Tae-suk (Jae Hee) plays the role as a transient, living in the empty houses of people on vacation, work, etc. He ‘lives’ there for the moment–eats, sleeps, watches tv and behaves as if it were his home. He washed clothes for one person and I thought he broke something in a house one time, but he was instead fixing things! You may be thinking how he can find these homes or knows when someone would be out? He delivers fliers from a restaurant and places the fliers on the doors and watches who removes them, and who does not. This is when Tae-suk enters these homes. He behaves as if he were a ninja–blending in with the scenes and existing in the shadows.
One day he visits a house and goes about his usual routine–eating, bathing–but unbeknown to him, he was being watched by the lady of the house! Sun-hwa (Lee Seung-yeon) just observes Tae-suk–and when he realizes her there–he leaves. But from that chance meeting, he began to wonder more about Sun-hwa, and made it a habit to observe her in the home–and notices that she suffers physical abuse from her husband and decided to distract Sun-hwa’s husband by golfing in the back yard– where he begins to attack the husband with golf balls–and takes Sun-hwa and leaves the home.
Now I must remind you that as in the Hwal (2005) review, this film has a little verbal dialogue–and trust me, none is necessary because Ki-Duk masters the art of human emotion and body language in a way that so much is said without one word spoken. So, Sun-hwa goes along with Tae-suk on these trips to homes and apartments–eating, sleeping, bathing, love making…but as always, good things must soon end when Tae-suk is caught and thrown in jail.
What I have described briefly about this movie aren’t the best parts–it is the love affair that comes after Tae-suk is released from prison. Love does truly conquer all–and Bin-jip (2004) poetically validates this saying. Please, take a moment to wind down and immerse yourself in the purity of inspired love–and the consequences of desire.
‘I have been astonished that men could die martyrs for their religion–I have to shudder at it. I shudder no more…I could be martyred for my religion; Love is my religion–and I could die for that…I could die for you. John Keats