violence, some sexual content, language and drug use
Just as South Korean director Bong Joon-ho's previous film,The Host, subverted the traditions of the giant monster movie to examine the effects of a crisis on a unique family, his latest effort,Mother, embraces the tropes of the murder mystery for an unsettling and affecting story of parental love taken to its extreme. Popular South Korean television actress Kim Hye-ja gives a powerful performance as a downtrodden acupuncturist whose mentally challenged son (Korean A-lister Won Bin) is accused of murdering a local schoolgirl. Bullied into a confession by the local police (led by Yoon Je-moon ofThe Host), the young man faces incarceration at a mental hospital unless his mother can discover the killer's true identity. Her inquiry leads her into classic noir territory, with perceived truths blown apart at every turn; in typical Joon-ho fashion, these discoveries are marked by moments of shocking violence, dark slapstick humor, and moving familial drama, which come together in a genuinely unique perspective on the nature of truth and commitment. The official South Korean submission for Best Foreign Language Film at the 82nd Academy Awards,Motheris yet another entry on a growing list of exceptional motion pictures from one of the international scene's most intriguing filmmakers.--Paul Gaita
Hye-ja is a single mom to 27-year-old Do-joon. Her son is her raison d’être. Though an adult in years, Do-joon is naïve and dependent on his mother, and a constant source of anxiety, often behaving in ways that are foolish or simply dangerous. Walking home alone one night down a nearly empty city street, he encounters a young girl who he follows for a while before she disappears into a dark alley. The next morning, she is found dead in an abandoned building and Do-joon is accused of her murder. Thanks to an inefficient lawyer and an apathetic police force, Do-joon’s case is quickly closed, but his mother refuses to let this be the end of the story. Trusting no one, Hye-ja’s maternal instincts kick into overdrive, and she sets out to find the girl’s killer and prove her son’s innocence.
South Korea’s highest grossing film is the monster film “The Host” directed by Bong Joon-Ho. Sure, “The Host” wasn’t a film for everyone, but it was quite inventive in the way it sidestepped the usual devices of monster films. Well, one wouldn’t be hard-pressed to expect another ‘monster’ hit from Bong (well, there is its coming sequel), but for his latest film, the director instead goes for a film that follows the footsteps of his 2003 hit “Memories … more
When her mentally challenged son is charged with a brutal murder, his mother sets out to prove him innocent. When the ordinary channels fail her, she increasingly takes things into her own hands, and is not afraid to get those hands dirty. While there are scores of films about fathers out to protect and avenge their children who have been victims of a crime, this is the first that I'm aware of in which it is the mother who is out to defend the accused. It is a rich and inventive … more