Run time: 100 mins
In Theaters: Friday 3rd May 1996
Distributed by: Koch Lorber Films
Production compaines: Park Chul-Soo Films Ltd.
Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 71%
Fresh: 5 Rotten: 2
IMDB: 6.8 / 10
Director: Cheol-su Park
Producer: Cheol-su Park
Screenwriter: Suh-Goon Lee
Starring: Sin-Hye Hwang as Yun, Bang Eun-Jin as Song, Chu-Ryun Kim as The Investigator
Here, bulimia again takes center stage in this utterly bizarre (yet logical) movie about two neighbors, known only by their apartment numbers: 301 (Eun-jin Bang) and 302 (Sin-Hye Hwang). At the start, 302, a writer, has gone missing, and a detective wanders buy to ask 301, a chef, some questions. What is revealed is that 302 is bulimic due to some trauma in her past and 301 has been cooking for her to attempt to shake her out of it. Unfortunately, it doesn't take: Gourmet meal after gourmet meal goes in the trash and down the toilet, and the relationship between the secretive and progressively more unhinged 301 and the demure 302 gets tenser and tenser.
The film progresses almost lazily: 301 cooks in extended scenes of shopping at the market and preparing the meals, then 302 can't eat them and violently erupts. Interspersed among the narrative are flashbacks and asides: 301 is revealed to be far more compulsive about sex than she is about food, and 302, revealed to be the daughter of a butcher, has some nasty skeletons in her closet.
The acting is solid and the direction is spot on for the material. Cheol-su Park has been directing films for decades now, but 301/302 is probably his best known outside of Korea. Altogether, it's a twisted little thriller, the kind that's become all the rage in Korean cinema, and one which thrill-seekers will definitely want to hunt down.
Aka 301, 302.