Saturday, September 4, 2010


South Korean director Bong Joon-ho did it again with his latest film Mother, which I have been highly anticipating since hearing about it at last year's London Film Festival.

If you haven't heard of Bong Joon-ho, I wonder if you live under a rock. His most famous film, The Host, premiered at the Cannes in 2006, landed on several 2007 top ten lists, AND is the highest grossing South Korean film ever! So before you watch Mother, you should watch The Host or after...up to you.

To me, Bong Joon-ho is emerging as one of the most refreshing auteur. His films have such a great balance of drama and dark comedy. While watching his films, I often found it absurd that I am laughing at some of the scenes because they are so dark and serious yet awkward. I don't think I have experienced the same feeling while watching films by any other filmmaker. In addition, Bong's films are never dull; the pace is so well balanced, and the music always so perfectly paired with every scene.

Anyways, Mother is about a mother who tries relentlessly to save his slightly slow adult son from imprisonment. Her son, who is known as a gentle, harmless person in town, is accused of murdering a girl. Running around town, collecting evidence, sneaking around at night, the elderly mother (the mother is actually never given a name) discovers scandals, secrets, and crosses path with some interesting characters. The ending of the film is one that is highly rewarding and twisted; it adds a powerful punch to the film. Also, did I mention the acting by Kim Hye-ja, the mother, is brilliant?

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