Lust, greed, power, decadence, money, money – and more money. The Taste of Money provides an insider’s look into the life of one of Korea’s wealthiest and most notorious families. This salacious portrait of desire, lust and revenge is a further expansion on director Sang-soo Im’s 2010 film The Housemaids.
The all-star Korean cast includes Kang-woo Kim of Rainbow Eyes fame as Joo Young-Jak, a personal assistant to an elite family. Things start to go array when Young-Jak gets becomes entangled in tasks outside his job brief. On the surface, the infamous family appears to be led by the Grandfather patriarch – however in reality it’s his aging daughter Baek Geum-Ok (Yeo-jeong Yoon) who wields control. Geum-Ok’s unremitting ruthlessness in her role as queen bee makes the character a joy to watch. She soon discovers the realities behind her husband’s secret night trysts and the addition of her beautiful daughter Nami (Hyo-jin Kim) into the mix results in a web of lustful scandals that wouldn’t be out of place within a soap opera.
Director Sang-soo Im builds great intensity within the film and manages to keep the viewer intrigued whilst ensuring they also feel empathy for the underdog within the story. The pace and tone of The Taste of Money fluctuates rather differently from that of your typical Hollywood blockbuster, which I believe is likely a reflection of Sang-soo Im’s distinctive South Korean style. Through the inclusion of superb cityscapes, this beautifully constructed film manages to create an atmosphere where you can almost smell the scent of bank notes in the air.
The Taste of Money – lustful, grotesque and disturbingly human.