Three… Extremes (2004)


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AKA: Sam Gang 2
Directed by: Fruit Chan, Park Chan-wook, Takashi Miike
Starring: Bai Ling (Aunt Mei), Miriam Yeung (Mrs Li), Tony Leung Ka-fai (Mr Li), Lee Byung-hun (Director), Kang Hye-jung (Director’s wife), Im Won-hee (Killer), Kyoko Hasegawa (Kyoko), Atsuro Watabe (Yoshii/Higata)
Country: Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea
Language: Cantonese, Korean, Japanese (English subtitles)
Runtime: 02:05:58
Genres: Anthology-Short, Cannibalism, Dolls, Gore-Gruesome, Home Invasion, Incest, Old-Young Relationships, Revenge, Siblings-Family, Childhood

Plot – Spoilers:
Three films by three acclaimed directors from Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan.

Dumplings – A former actress who’s lost the attention of her wealthy husband is willing to try out a bizarre recipe to reignite her fading beauty. A full-length version was later made, with a different ending and additional plot lines.

Cut – A frustrated actor relegated to bit-roles envies a director who epitomizes everything he hasn’t had, or ever will.

Box – A popular writer is tormented by delusions of a criminal act from her childhood.

At the end of Box, it is suggested that what you saw wasn’t what happened. But if we assume that the finale itself is Kyoko’s final delusion to make peace with herself, all three films throw up a conflicting thought – is it reasonable to say that each of the desperate characters are victims and the real crimes were committed by Mrs Li’s husband’s apathy to her, the director by virtue of his existence, and the incestuous Dad(?) of the twin girls.

Favorite moments include the dance performance by the actor in Cut, the ending of Dumplings (a childless woman willing to sacrifice what she possibly pined for, all her adult life, just to continue to look younger) and the visual wonder of a person being buried alive in the snowy wilderness of Box.

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