Mother (Madeo, 2009)

Kim Hye-ja - Wow! What an actress she is

US Magnolia DVD edition


If Bong Joon Ho were a composer this film could've been named something like:

Bravura Performance by an elder actress with a slightly retarded son

A slow crime drama with a slightly rural setting that makes you think of the director's earlier crime drama "Memories of
Murder" a film as good as this one. Both were brilliant. Bong Joon Ho has told us that when making "Mother" he started
with the actress Kim Hye Ja and then constructed the story around her, and how she deliver the goods, she's frightening
as "Mother" who won't let anything stop her from proving her son's innocence of murder.

Yoon Do-joon (Won Bin) is a possibly slightly retarded young man who lives in a much to close relationship with his
mother, a possibly incestuous one as they share the one bed in the house. Do Joon is dimwitted and maybe also a
dangerous mental case, but also his determined mother is crazy and possibly dangerous too.
Do Joon hangs out with his only friend Jin-tae and else likes him ... except Mother. The film takes place in a village or small
town somewhere on the South Korean countryside and Mother makes a living for her and her son by working in a herbs
shop and giving acupuncture (even though she's not licensed to do so.

When a young girl is found dead Do Joon becomes the main suspect as he has been seen at the murder scene. He confess
to the police that he killed the girl by hitting her with a stone to her head, but Mother are sure of his innocence and will
do anything to save him, hiring an expensive defence lawyer and ... she starts to sleuth around by herself to find the real
killer. This is a brilliant crime drama with lots of atmosphere and with an outstanding (or horrific, frightening) performance
from the elder actress Kim Hye Ja (born 1941 and 67 years old when shooting the film.
She won Best actress award at the Asian Film awards. I found this film to be as good as "Memories of Murder".

The film is presented in anamorphic widescreen 2.35:1 5.1 korean audio with english subtitles.
Extras: Mother, Son and Murder: The Making of Mother (28 min), music score, supporting actors, cinematography,
production design, Magnolia trailers



Bong Joon-ho (born in 1969) really is a GREAT director and only has created popular Hits and films liked by cineaste
audiences alike. That's rare. He takes his time in doing this with about 3 years between each of his films.

His debut feature Barking Dogs Never Bite was a film everyone liked in 2000 and his follow up Memories of Murder in
2003 was also a Hit everywhere and one of the best korean crime-dramas ever. Most koreans knew about the murders
and wanted to see the film, and i will never forget the film's ending with Song Kang-ho returning to the crime site and ....
No, no spoiler here because this ending was POWERFUL indeed.

His third film was made, yet again 3 years later, in 2006 with the also international Super Hit The Host, i remember that
it was shown here in Sweden on Cinema even, something very rare for a korean film in the Hollywoodified Sweden.
I Loved this wonderful creature horror then and i still do, it's a great film (and not just because my beloved Bae-Doo-na
is in it) with it's comedy, the strange octopus-like creature and the actors. The Korean Godzilla.

Then in 2009 his maybe best film yet, the great Mother. Wow! What a crime drama that was.
After that we had to wait 4 years for Great Bongs international debut with the sci-fi dystopy 2913 Snowpiercer, who for
sure were the best of the korean maestro directors international feature film debuts, as Kim Je-woon's effort Stunk
and Park's Stoker was pretty bad also (even though some like it).

So, 2016 it has been 3 years again and maybe Bong will give us another great film again. Bong Jooh-ho - A Great man.
Note 2021-03-15: He sure did, with the unique and hard to describe Okja and in 2019 with the all over the world hailed
and multiple film prize awarded Parasite.


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