Home Movie Vault Disc Vault Coming Soon Join Our Mailing List Articles About Us Contest Soundtrack Books eStore
MOTHER (Korea)

  Publicity Stills of
(Courtesy of Festive Films)

Genre: Drama/Thriller
Director: Bong Joon Ho
Cast: Won Bin, Kim Hye-Ja, Jin Goo, Yoon Je-Moon, Jeon Mi-Seon, Song Sae-Byeok
RunTime: 2 hrs 9 mins
Released By: Festive Films
Rating: PG
Official Website: http://www.festivefilms.com/mother

Opening Day: 31 December 2009


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 sometimes behaves in ways that are stupid or simply dangerous. He is a constant source of anxiety for everyone. One day a young girl is found dead in an abandoned building and Do-joon is accused of her murder. An inefficient lawyer and an apathetic police force that closes Do-joon’s case too quickly inspire his mother to act on her own—to act as Mother in its purest form. Summoning all her maternal instincts and trusting no one, she sets out to find a killer and prove her son’s innocence.

Movie Review:

After the international success of THE HOST, director Bong-Joon Ho turns to this film that was played at the Cannes in 2009. In MOTHER, a woman is forced to investigate a murder after her only son is wrongly accused of the crime.

Anyone going to Bong’s latest film anticipating it to be remotely similar to THE HOST will be very surprised. Superficially, MOTHER is closest to his sophomore effort MEMORIES OF MURDER, in that it is at heart a detective story about the death of a young woman.

With MOTHER, Boon shows us his wits to deliver a psychological study of dark, intense impulses, an intellectual piece about man's suffering and an emotional reflection of a mother's capacity for love. MOTHER may not be as immediately visceral and broadly entertaining as the director's previous work, but it weaves a strongly intense web as a deeper, more complete story about our internal emotional worlds.

As a filmmaker, Joon-ho sensitively essays the material's potential hysteria to deliver an absorbing, gripping modern thriller. He shows a nice feel for classic, tightly directed tension. In a way that surpasses his broader, less talented American counterparts, the director's clean, unpretentious visual style and simple, quietly affecting sound design deftly ramp up the story's intensity (in particular, the wistfully emotive score beautifully complements the story's dramatic texture). Bong Joon-ho remains one of Korea’s top filmmaker using comical situations to frame the story's intense storyline. Even as a scene focuses on another character or the story's ongoing mystery, he trains his camera on the mother's face, which reveals her slowly crumbling interior landscape.

Veteran Kim Hye-ja acts as the titular character in this film and her performance is nothing less than stellar, with each and every emotion turmoil carefully and wonderfully portrayed. Her performance is absolutely magnificent, the kind of performance that seems to radiate straight out of the actress's body, so that every small hand gesture or eye movement contributes to our feeling that we're watching a real woman, really looking out for her son. In addition, Won Bin pleasantly surprised me with his most convincing performance yet. His Do-Joon is creepy, mysterious and yet comical at the same time. With this film, Won Bin proves that he is much more than just another pretty face from Korea.

The plot of the film is engaging and suspenseful as each scene brings the audience closer to the truth, ending up with one of the most unexpected twist and revelation at the end. As the mother seeks the truth, the relationships become clearer and characters become more endearing. The film's use of sound, from the ominous rustling of leaves to the menacing sounds of Hye-ja's herb chopper, is more effective than any music score. The appearance of not more than two persons in most frames, and the stark palette of primary colors of doleful smoky blue and petulant rusty red create a sustained mood of claustrophobia and discomfort. Soon, one could not help but to empathize with the plight they are in.

All in all, MOTHER is not your typical tearjerker; however, it will certainly draw the audience to feels for the characters and may touch a few emotional chords in some.

Movie Rating:

(Nothing beats the greatest love of all - a mother's love)

Review by Sing Swee Leong


. The Chaser (2008)

. Voice Of A Murderer (2006)

. Murder of the Inugami Clan (2006)

. Sympathy For Lady Vengeance (2005)

. My Brother (2005)


DISCLAIMER: Images, Textual, Copyrights and trademarks for the film and related entertainment properties mentioned
herein are held by their respective owners and are solely for the promotional purposes of said properties.
All other logo and design Copyright©2004- , movieXclusive.com™
All Rights Reserved.