Bin-jip

Synopsis: Mysterious drifter Tae-suk enters other people’s lives as easily as he breaks into their unoccupied homes. Instead of stealing their riches, he repays his hosts’ unknowing hospitality by fixing broken items, cleaning up, even doing their laundry. But when he sneaks into a sprawling mansion, he discovers a beautiful, lonely wife named Sun-hwa, trapped in a loveless marriage. Without saying a word, the pair begin an erotic game of cat-and-mouse, until her abusive husband returns home, unleashing a shocking burst of violence. Tae-suk defends Sun-hwa with the aid of her husband’s golf club. The lovers run away together finding domestic bliss inhabiting strangers’ homes. Later, when Tae-suk is framed for a murder, even prison walls can’t keep them apart for good.
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Bin-jip 9.0

One of the best movies of the last decade, Ki-duk Kim’s ‘Bin-jip’ is a look at conformity and societal norms – but done in a very pleasant, non-confrontational way, and wrapped up in a love story.

It follows a moment in the life of a transient loner who, unbeknownst to anyone, spends his days enjoying the comforts of strangers’ homes – while they are away on trips. In exchange for these intrusions, he cleans, does the laundry and fixes things that are in disrepair. His life is forever changed when, as he goes from place to place like this, he comes to the rescue of an abused woman.

Seeing as he doesn’t appear to have his own house, his way of life relies heavily on these symbiotic relationships with strangers. Unfortunately, this lifestyle isn’t socially tolerated; while he is essentially doing good deeds, most people simply do not understand what he’s about. Not that this reality assails him – this resilient young man rolls with the punches and keeps his chin up at all times.

One the impressive qualities of this film is how the two leads never utter a word to one another. They only express themselves in actions, in gestures, and continue to lead their lives in silence – with the notable exception of music, which is the only real attachment the young man seems to have (aside from his motorcycle, his mode of transportation).

It’s a funny, disarming, romantic film. And it’s thought-provoking to boot! One would be hard-pressed to ask for anything more 🙂

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