Bin- Jip: A Korean Movie You Shouldn't Miss to See
3-Iron (A.k.a. Bin Jip/Empty House)
According to the Korean director, the title has a double meaning. In a concrete sense, it refers to the golf club that is used in several key sequences. Since 3-iron is often the most neglected golf club there is a symbolic connection to the main characters, both of whom are among life's cast-offs. Striking is that the central characters speaks not one word during the entire length of the film. The man and the woman in the film are shown as understanding each other without the need of words. Despite the actors' silence the performances are full and grow fuller as the film progresses. It is not explained why the guy never speaks but it adds an element of mysticism to this unique, and to some, disturbing love story. This is a rare movie you can relax and walk around in. A movie that can be an addition to any collection.
A young drifter goes from door to door and places restaurant flyers on people's doors. He later breaks into the house where the flyer has not been removed, assuming that the owner is away. Owner's absence is often validated by the answering machines while he is inside. To gain entry he meticulously picks the locks not to cause damage. He never steals or ruins anything. He simply guards the house for a few days, and fixes things that needs repair. He even does the laundry, cleans the home, leaving it nicer than when he came in, but of course, minus a little food.
His life changed when he breaks into a house without knowing that there was a woman in the house observing him while he was doing the usual things. At first, the woman was afraid of him, but when he sees him fixing a broken weighing scale, she realizes that he's not a burglar, and continues to observe him. When he found out about the woman, he apologized and was about to get out of the house when the phone rings and heard the woman's husband's voice. And from what he heard he realized that the woman is a victim of an abusive marriage..
Through a series of events he rescues her from more abuses from her husband. She joins him in his journey. Together they stick flyers unto doors and enter empty houses. As they inhabit one house after another, never speaking but growing ever closer. She begins to imitate what the young drifter does, like washing clothes manually, fixing things that needs repair, and cleans the house. When they entered a house to find a dead old man, that's when their troubles began.. A trip to the police station will bring us another side of the man. We will have an additional info on the man.. a drifter he may be but he has a degree, and drives a BMW bike. Why then would he be breaking into other people's houses..? The woman was given back to her repenting husband.
There were funny moments inside the jail though not a single word can be heard from the young drifter. He was finally released when no one among the owners of the houses he/they broke in complained of thief or robbery. And the case of the dead old man was solved. Now that he's free he's got petty things to attend to before he will check on the "unforgettable" woman.. Their next meeting was sweet and enticing. It makes us forget that she's a married woman... The end will leave us with a smile on our faces.
My favorite scene here is when the woman went back the house they once broke in. The kind couple who was tending their garden just watched puzzled as the woman walked in, watched her get inside their house. She took off her shoes, laid her bag on the small table, lied down on the sofa (the same sofa where she and the guy shared a cup of tea) and calmly slept. When she woke up, again, she took her bag, put on her shoes, and walked towards the gate. Sensing the presence of the surprised couple, she bowed without looking at them and left. Of course she left them wondering who she is, and why was she so familiar with their home.
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