Director: Park Chul-soo
Writer: Lee Seo-Gun
Producer: Park Chul-soo
Cast: Bang Eun-Jin (Pang Eun-Jin), Hwang Shin-Hye, Kim Chu-Ryun
Running Time: 94 Min.
The Korean movie 301 302 was one of the strangest I’ve seen in a while. It wasn’t hard to follow at all, nor was it as disturbing as other Asian movies I’ve seen, but it did seem to spark a mixture of feelings that I’d gotten from movies such as Audition and Untold Story.
The story revolves around two neighbors in apartments 301 and 302. One (302) can’t eat… ANYTHING, and the other (301, obviously) is a great cook. When the cook first moves in and tries to befriend (and cook for) the anorexic, they butt heads over the fact that all the meticulously prepared food was simply thrown out. We then see a few flashbacks telling the stories of how the two women got to be where they are. The movie ends like something out of today’s headlines (in particular, a recent major story out of Germany… I’ll leave it at that).
It’s not too bad a movie, but really nothing special. I thought it was well acted and fairly well directed, even though there was not much to it, since it only took place in the two apartments and a couple other settings only seen in flashbacks. The story was certainly MUCH better than Lee Seo-gun’s later opus, Rub Love.
It certainly was strange, however. There’s lots of footage of cooking, lots of footage of the anorexic gagging at the sight of food and lots of footage of both the women in lousy situations. It isn’t as disturbing as Audition, however it did seem to give off a similar vibe. The women both had disturbing pasts which are revealed through flashbacks, and resolved through the not quite expected (though, not altogether shocking) conclusion.
I can’t say this is a bad movie, but it’s not great, either. It was simple and short, and worth a watch, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to see it again. Perhaps it would be a great movie for fans of watching expert chefs in action.
Equinox21’s Rating: 6/10