Written by: Michael Den Boer on November 16th, 2005
Theatrical Release Date: South Korea, October 15th, 2004
Director: Ki-duk Kim
Writer: Ki-duk Kim
Cast: Seung-yeon Lee, Hyun-kyoon Lee, Hyuk-ho Kwon, Jin-mo Ju
DVD Released: November 7th, 2005
Approximate Running Time: 85 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 & Stereo
DVD Release: Optimum
Region Coding: Region 2 PAL (UK)
Retail Price: £19.99
“It’s hard to tell that the world we live in is either a reality or a dream.”
Tae-suk is a transient who breaks into the homes of people who are on vacation. While he stays in these homes he cleans up the place up spotless and fixes anything that needs to be fixed as a sign of his gratitude for allowing him to stay in their homes. One evening he breaks into a wealthy couples mansion and as he is going about his normal routine he soon discovers that his not alone. Sun-hwa the wife of a wealthy business man has been watching Tae-suk form afar as he went though her home. Earlier that evening her husband had beaten her pretty badly and when he returns to find another man with his wife in his home he explode into another tirade. Tae-suk is playing golf in the backyard and he assaults her husband with golf balls when he comes outside. Sun-hwa tired of her abusive husband leaves with Tae-suk and together they break into homes of people who are on vacation. Things run smoothly at first until one day when the two comes across a dead body when they break into one of the homes they had planned on staying in.
Cinema is a visual medium that in many instances gets bogged down with words. Director Ki-duk Kim takes the actions speak much loader then words approach with his film 3-iron. The films lead character Tae-suk doesn’t speak a single word through out the films duration. There is also many stretches in the film when there is little or no dialog at all. This films central theme is about lack of communication and the long stretches of silence in the film drive home this point. Sun-hwa and Tae-suk make an unlikely pair of burglars as they never take anything in the places the break into and they often leave the place looking cleaner then when they arrived.
Hyun-kyoon Lee gives a spellbinding performance as Tae-suk. His facial expressions and mannerisms are pitch-perfect. Seung-yeon Lee gives an equally impressive performance as the batter wife Sun-hwa. The film is filled with many metaphors and in many cases they have to do with the game of golf. Overall 3-Iron is a film that has many layers and repeated viewings are suggested to fully absorbing everything that is going on consciously and subconsciously.
Optimum Asia presents 3-Iron in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The details look sharp and the image looks stable through out. Colors are nicely saturated and there are no problems with compression or artifacts. Overall the image is in excellent shape.
There are two audio options that come with this release a Dolby Digital 5.1 and a Dolby Digital stereo. Both audio mixes are presented in the films original Korean language. The audio is clean and dialog is always easy to understand. The music and effects sound evenly mixed as they never overpower each other. There are no problems with hiss, distortion or any other sound defect. Removable English subtitles have been included that are easy to read and follow.
Extras for this release include the films original trailer and trailers for Memories of Murder and Pulse. The extras for this release are sparse and I would have liked to hear what the films director Ki-duk Kim has to say about this film.
Overall Optimum Asia have given 3-Iron a first rate audio/video presentation. 3-Iron is a beautiful film that in rich in meaning on and beneath the surface, highly recommend.
For more information about 3-Iron and other titles released by Optimum visit their website.