19 October 2010


Mother – Bong Joon-Ho

A film conceived in the deepest region of someone’s imagination which seems to have been pummelled with strange images and unusual influences, Mother, the latest piece from the South Korean auteur Bong Joon-Ho, famous for The Host. I was really looking forward to this as I’m a massive fan of The Host, a really underrated film that’s reminiscent of the Hollywood Sci-Fi flick but bases itself on South Korean black comedy and style. It’s a great mix and a really entertaining watch, and once i saw the trailer for Mother, i saw it to be a bit different to what i was expecting. It’s a thriller about a mother trying to get her son out of jail for murder, which he didn’t commit. It’s a simple premise but done in such a strange way that the humour is almost primary and the story is secondary. And the humour is very dark, a certain type that only certain audiences will appreciate. The style is great, don’t get me wrong, i love the camera movement, the shot types and the cinematography, it elopes sadness and despair the Mother character is feeling about her only son.

As mentioned above, the story tells of an unnamed widow living with her son, selling medicine and giving out “illegal” acupuncture after not being licensed. After an eventful night, the son, Do-Joon, finds himself in the middle of a murder scene with a girl was strangled to death. After having no evidence to say where he was at the time of the murder, he is wrongfully placed into custody awaiting a trial. His mother meanwhile goes on a quest to find answers into who really did and uncover some strange goings on in the small town. She covers the whole town asking people and even upsetting a few along the way. It’s a good premise told in an unusual way which you might enjoy but i found myself becoming bored very quickly. I think it may be because of the pacing, it’s off, and you’ll notice it very early on.

I recommend seeing The Host and possibly skipping Mother, sure it’s good in places and it has great flair and style from a director, who will become a massive success, but it’s just not entertaining enough to hold your attention, it’s almost like watching it just because it’s made by the famous director or because it’s “different”.


Simon Childs

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