The Taste of Money: Spoiler Alert! Cash Corrupts


In the kind of shocking development that used to send Charlton Heston shrieking into the streets, it turns out that—despite all the orgasms, ice cream, and Christmas presents it buys—money has a corrupting influence. Particularly money kept in bales on wooden pallets in the basement of a morally, but not monetarily, bankrupt family. “Have a taste of money,” says CEO Yoon (Baek Yun-shik) to his young assistant Joo (Kim Kang-woo). “Everyone does.” Yoon married into all this sweet, sweet cheddar decades before. Poisoned by access to those mad stacks of cash and disgusted with both himself and his amoral wife, Geum-ok (Yoon Yeo-jeong), he self-medicated for 30 years with booze and babes. But now he has found true love in the form of a Filipino maid (don’t judge), and wants finally to honor a woman as a true romantic partner. The jilted Geum-ok, who runs the family conglomerate with steely coldness, retaliates with the deadliest weapon—murder. And administrative assistant Joo is caught in the family’s sticky web of betrayal, lies, corruption, hidden Web cams, bales of Benjamins, and a lot of sexy sex. Is there such a thing as “tastefully smutty”? Director Im Sang-soo’s moody and semi-Shakespearian The Taste of Money walks that line with some artfully lit humping and cross-generational seduction. Also, is there such a thing as “understated rococo”? Because that’s going on, too, with a lot of heightened, soap-operatic plot twists presented with impressive directorial and thespian restraint.