Movie Review: The Taste Of Money

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Horror from the IFC has often proven to be good stuff. It’s not always great, of course, but they’ve done enough very impressive pieces to make me sit up and take notice whenever a new one comes out. So when they sent out a copy of “The Taste Of Money” for us to review, I was certainly eager to give it a shot. It’s not horror, really, but it does do very well in the drama / suspense department.

“The Taste of Money” follows a wealthy socialite and her family. More specifically, it follows what happens when the socialite’s assistant reveals a secret truth about the socialite’s husband and his extramarital affairs. Now said socialite’s husband is thrown into a web of skullduggery and deceit that could ruin his career, and bring down his family with it. Can he turn the tide growing against him? Or is any measure he takes simply a case of too little, too late?

“The Taste of Money”, of course, is extremely interesting in that it’s a Korean suspense-thriller. That puts it on par with horror, and for many people it’s scary enough for anyone’s purposes. As thrillers go, it can be a little dry, and short on the thrills. But what “The Taste of Money” is absolutely rife with is intrigue. This is a level of intrigue on par with any prime-time soap opera from the 1980s, which was home to some of the highest-tension drama around. There’s a lot going on in here, and frankly, some of it I can really only guess at. I’m either watching a crime family or some kind of business operation here–either might be accurate–and there’s plenty of twists and turns and generational infighting going on. Some of it, admittedly, will be difficult to watch, like the older folks getting a mite randy, but this thing is so jammed full of intrigue you’d swear you were watching a particularly coherent soap opera.

Sure, it’s not going to be very thrilling, but there will be plenty of suspense owing mainly to all the intrigue. Wondering who will find out what, when, if anything or ever, is pretty suspenseful. One part “Dallas”, one part “The Godfather”, this is very well-done drama, and decent suspense. It’s a little dry to be a proper thriller, but it’s incredibly deep and rich material.

We actually got this one in while it was playing in theaters, but it can also be found streaming at Amazon as well as at SundanceNow ahead of its eventual DVD release. What the DVD release will have on it is anyone’s guess. Fair warning, also, large portions of “The Taste of Money” are in the original Korean. Thankfully, there will be English subtitles for all the Korean portions, so getting lost will be comparatively difficult.

“The Taste Of Money” is a little slow going, but does an excellent job of bringing drama and suspense to the table. It’s a little slow and a little light to be a full thriller, but thanks to its delightfully high levels of intrigue, it will be a very watchable piece of work indeed.


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