The Queen of Asian Drama is Back with more Irreverent Reviews and Snarky Commentary.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Bin jip

2004 Korean movie that stars Lee Hyun kyoon as a drifter who posts circulars on doors and then returns to see which houses haven't touched them so he can break in, browse through their personal shit, eat their food, take some candid shots of him with the owners (via portraits he poses beside), and he maybe does some laundry for them before eventually leaving.

Aside from a few run-in's with the homeowners, this movie had little dialogue; not a bad thing considering the flow of the storyline and the simple fact that words weren't necessary - but, I think it's funny to note the fact that some of the 'critics' praising this film seemed insistent on mentioning the fact that the man who 'wrote' this movie only needs a few weeks, and that the entire film was shot within a month.

Um ~ yea, so without dialogue, it would stand to reason that ANY movie would take that long to shoot since no one has to memorize lines that they'll flub up?

Anyway, the last home our lead enters is a ritzy place owned by a grizzled, old man with a super-model for a wife whom he beats and berates to ... um, well, utter silence.

When the lead enters the house, he thinks its empty, but she's there, hiding in the bathroom in tears and likely contemplating her latest escape from the husband who just left on yet, another business trip.

Hyun kyoon's character is immediately taken by the woman of the house since her images are hung on most, every wall - and while she has figured out that there is a stranger lurking about, he continues on his appointed rounds - checking out the fridge, peeking into every room, and then pulling out his cell phone to take a picture of him standing beside a portrait of the beautiful lady of the house.

That night, after he takes a shower and washing his clothes in a bucket on the floor of the bathroom, he crawls into the master's bed naked, and with a picture of the wifey at his side - when he proceeds to ... well,

She says nothing, and he says nothing - but when the old man returns after his wife refuses to pick up his calls, the two flee and spend the rest of the movie sharing his vagrant routine - illegally entering unoccupied houses, rummaging through their belongings, eating their food, washing their clothes, and then taking pictures of themselves beside the family portraits.

The title of the movie comes from the fact that while Hyun kyoon's character was at the woman's mansion, he stole her husbands 3-Iron and from there, he drilled a hole into a golf ball, inserted a wire, and roped it around the trunks of trees to practice his swing.

During one of their street lay-overs between break-ins, he's practicing his swing when the ball leaves the wire, hitting the windshield of a nearby car and injuring the female passenger.

The Buddhist Zen factor enters the equation at this point, and I'm sure it was when a lot of viewers became confused or even annoyed with the rest of the plot, but that minor incident signaled the downfall of our Hyun kyoon's character.

The husband sics his dogs on the guy, the wife returns to the manse, and our lead hero ends up in jail, where he's brutally and mercilessly beaten by a heartless and unforgiving guard.

While in his bedless, toiletless cell, our main man becomes obsessed with his shadow and begins to practice steps that will eventually lead him to becoming nothing more than just that ... a shadow.

Upon his release, he returns to the homes he once broke into, and while no one can see him, his presence is still felt.

At last he returns to the woman's house and ... moves in.

She can see him, but her husband can't - and I think that is where the writer of this movie wants us to believe that the story remains: with the overbearing husband living with a shadow of a wife who is in love with ... a shadow of a man only she can see.

Since its release, this movie has garnered a lot of attention as well as critical acclaim from both sides of the globe, and while I remained anxious to watch ~ I kept putting it off for whatever reason until finally, I chose to take the plunge (last weekend).

Here in the States, it was shown at select theaters, and all of them the artsy sort located in upscale neighborhoods where doubtless 'educated' few went to see it and probably enjoyed it as well.

I didn't, though.

It was a disappointment after everything I read and heard about it, but that doesn't mean you won't like it - so, if you have a few hours to spare, give this one a chance and see what you think.


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