|Producer:||Yong-bae Choi, Ki-duk Kim, Michiko Suzuki|
|Awards:||6 wins & 4 nominations|
|Sound:||Dolby Digital 5.1|
Words really do get in the way in "3-Iron", a strange, poignant South Korean film from director Kim Ki-Duk ("Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring") in which the central character doesn't utter a single word. It's not explained why the puck never speaks, but it adds an element of mysticism to this love story that's at once humorous and disturbing. In this case, the knight in shining armor, Tae-Suk (Hee Jae) is a vagabond who supports himself by breaking into people's homes when they're on vacation. But rather than steal possessions, he cooks himself a meal, carefully washes the dishes, takes a bath, does their laundry, fixes anything broken, sleeps in their pajamas, and leaves each home spic and span. One day he trespasses on the home of a battered wife (Seung-yon Lee) who's still home. Fascinated, she leaves her husband and joins in his adventures, until one of their random break-ins gets them in trouble and the couple is forced apart.
Adding in a reliance on some stunning visuals, "3-Iron" does a good job filling itself out in a non-implicit way. In this case, compliments and banter aren't needed to tell you that the pair has found a bond that no one can wrest away from them. The ending may tickle suspended reality (it's either becoming supernatural or someone's a lot more nimble than we thought), but it's still a poetic conclusion to this twisted fairy tale. "--Ellen A. Kim"