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4.7 out of 5 stars20
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 5 September 2005
I remembered Kim Ki-Duk from viewing Seom (The Isle) a few years back. I didn't particularly like the film, but it definately stuck in my head. So I wasn't expecting such great things from 3-Iron (a.k.a Binjip which means Empty House in Korean).
It's brilliantly directed, with strong fluid shots. It has a great soundtrack, full of mystery and ghostly appeal. The acting is practically flawless, and made even more accented due to both lead characters never exchanging spoken dialogue.
I have to say I love this film. The sweet & sour and yin & yang story line is just beautiful to watch and absorb. The film is full of symbols, and requires a second viewing to fully take it all in.
I think most people will either love this film or think it pretentious. The ending isn't so ambiguous as some of Kim Ki-Duks other films, but still leaves a lot to your imagination. It's my film of 2005.
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on 13 December 2005
The minimalistic dialogue and mesmerising silence draw the audience to the superbly acted visual and sensual treat. It is quite an experience to be so deprived of sound and to let your eyes and imagination follow the slowly unfolding and unusual story. In turns poignant, humane, unpredictable, balletic and ultimately a love story I think.. I highly recommend it.
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on 17 February 2010
The pleasure that my girlfriend and I both received from watching this film is almost impossible to describe. Because having also adored movies like "April Snow" & "Waiting In The Dark," we both share a deep passion for tense, atmospheric, emotional and virtually silent Asian cinema.

Of course, words like "Tense," "Atmospheric," "Emotive," "Passionate," "Heart-Rending," "Beautiful" & "Art" do not even begin to describe the glory of this film. And the only reason I can possibly imagine why a person might not like it would be if they were either too lazy or too ignorant to perceive what was happening in front of their eyes.

Throughout the whole course of the movie, the Hero never speaks once and the Heroine only speaks twice towards the end. You might think that the silence would somehow render this film bleak and amateurish. After all, why would anyone ever 'Choose' to make a virtually silent movie these days?

Simple... Because it "WORKS!!!"

The lead actors are both so incredibly talented, the story is so beautiful and the direction is so flawless that too much dialogue would almost utterly ruin this film. The new couple literally hold entire conversations without ever speaking a word. And their love for one another is so palpable that language would only ever get in the way.

Just as an informative side-note however, the original Korean title for this movie translates as "Empty House" which I honestly feel works much better.

Without a home of his own, a young man who delivers junk mail for a living literally spends the night in other people's homes. He picks the lock of the 'Empty House' while the owners are away, repairing anything that's broken, doing the laundry and caring for the plants to thank his hosts for their unknowing hospitality. But having entered a house which he believes to be empty, a terrified woman who's been raped and beaten watches silently as he 'Makes Himself At Home.'

This bizarre and moving coincidence is the start of an unbelievably beautiful love affair; the two lovers' both 'Rescuing' one another from their loneliness and their pain. So why on Earth haven't you bought this DVD yet? I can almost guarantee that you will love it!
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on 29 December 2011
"Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter......" is one of my top 5 films of all time so I was looking forward to this film by the same director and I was spurred on by good reviews on Amazon. However I was somewhat disappointed by a rather dull and pedestrian film. There was zero chemistry between the two main stars and the ending was rather muddled and implausible. Saying that it did have its good points and it was a clever touch to have the two main actors exchanging no dialogue whatsoever -though again rather implausible. I think for a fantasy to really succeed the implausible must seem to be plausible-but this film does not succeed at that level. It was a fairly good film but miles behind "Spring, Summer...." which is one of the most beautiful films I have ever seen. Maybe I should watch "3 Iron" again....Some films require more than one viewing.
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on 10 May 2009
This is by far the best Korean film I have seen, and one of the best films I've seen for quite some time. Reading the impossibly unfeasable plot would make you think that this is a gimmick of a film or just plain pretentious; it is neither.
The film unfolds at a gentle pace with almost no dialogue, it feels like a nature documentary at times. Tae-suk quietly breaks into houses empty of occupants and proceeds to enjoy blissful yet brief domesticity. His time relaxing in the bath or in front of the tv is counterbalanced with dull chores, chores which he accompishes with the inner peace of a monk. Our sympathy with the character happens because he actually fixes things and steals nothing. This strange routine is broken with the discovery of a battered housewife. Witnessing domestic problems draws in our hero from his previously quiet solitary life into something far more complicated and ambiguous. The film follows a wordless love story through the various parts of the city and subsequent brushes with her husband and the police.
I hate to use this term but it could be described as a 'magical realist' love story, or worse yet - a modern fairy tale. But it's a film that sweeps you along without the need for labels, and on closer reflection it makes you think. Despite the anonymous urban landscape the cinematography is beautiful and the music (one track in particular) is threaded through the film reflecting the continuing love story between the two silent protagonists.
I would recommend this film to anybody and everybody, even to those who don't like subtitles as there is almost no dialogue. My only tiny problem is the title which in Korean is 'Empty House' a more poetic title than 3 Iron.
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on 19 September 2005
Words cannot do this film justice. It is exceptional.
Undoubtedly there will be those, including myself, who criticise elements of the film, but it is it's originality, story and cinematography that really sets it apart.
I went into the film expecting nothing and came out with so much.
Love it or hate it; to not watch this film would be to miss out on one of the great masterpieces of the year.
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on 1 September 2006
A startlingly original film, not least for the fact that the main character never utters a word during the entire thing. The plot, for what it's worth, concerns an aimless young drifter who hooks up with a young girl who's being knocked about by her husband. The remarkable thing is that there is no dialogue between the two leads, a look tells a thousand words, and a slow mesmeric quality envelops the movie. As ever with these kinds of films, the meaning remains something of a mystery and it's impossible to figure out what is going on or what is trying to be conveyed. Nevertheless you still have a warm feeling at the end of it all.
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on 1 September 2015
It won't be everyone's cuppa tea. It has no dialogue but the film is great. It turns out to be a love story if I remember right.
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on 25 April 2016
Kim Ki Duk is one of my favorite directors. Love this movie. Its all about love. without words.
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on 16 December 2005
This is one of the most thought-provoking films I have ever seen. It is quite beautiful in its simplicity and provides a valuable insight into a gentle and unassuming relationship. I can't say much about the storyline as that would give too much away: the intrigue lies in the interpretation of what is happening between the two protagonists and their effect on their surroundings and others.
The acting is subtle and unpretentious. I particularly appreciated the silence which prevailed: you were drawn towards these two people and willing them to succeed and survive.
It's a fantastic ending. I won't go into detail as you need to watch this film yourself and come to your own conclusions. I'm still thinking about it and keep changing my mind. In no way has this spoiled my enjoyment of this film.
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