Residing in a mansion on the outskirts of Seoul lives one of the richest families in the world. By all appearances the home is run by the father of the household but looks can be deceiving, as his wife, Madame Baek is clearly in charge. Joo, a handsome young man, has recently been brought on to serve as Madame Baek's personal assistant, being introduced to the amount of power which money can buy including the immoral and frequently illegal activities which accompany this type of wealth. Joo is in a prime situation to become rich himself, given this position, but when an affair begins between the man of the household and one of the maids, the family begins to crumble under the weight of Madame Baek's power-hungry ways. Much like Im Sang-Soo's last film, The Housemaid, his latest effort, The Taste of Money, takes a pensive look into the upper class lifestyle and the dynamics which exist among its members. The film spends a lot of time showing this type of lifestyle to the viewer by capturing the type of greed and thirst for power which is entailed. This family is held together by money, and how they react when problems arise exposes just how dependent they are on pieces of paper. The Taste of Money has a very unique tone to it all, balancing a moody, darkly dramatic tone with an almost sleazy side of seduction which makes the whole film so gleefully delicious. While the submersion of the viewer into this world without monetary boundaries is necessary, Joo's character serves as the narrative through-line to the story. Joo is one of the only characters who truly grasps how fortunate it is to be wealthy serving as a character which the average viewer can relate too. It's through his point of view in which we see the corrupt practices of how this family operates with the assumption that money can get them out of any trouble. He himself begins to feel the allure of money and the power it brings, yet through a tragic series of events he realizes the error of his ways. Im Sang-Soo's The Taste of Money is a somewhat pensive, always delicious film that takes aim at the super-rich, and their seemingly ever dwindling morality.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.