MOTHER (MADEO)

BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
AUGUST 27,2013

Bong Joon Ho’s “Mother” is a Korean thriller that takes one mother’s deep love for her simple son and turns it into an intriguing murder mystery with a slight hint of darkness. When Do Joon, a mentally challenged young man, is put away for the murder of a high school girl, his mother becomes determined to prove his innocence. Kim Hye Ja plays Mother, who has a purity all her own. With a deep sadness projected from her eyes in every scene, while blindly devoted and entirely positive of her son’s inability to commit such a crime, carrying this film from start to finish. Most of the characters she comes across feel guilty of something, whether it be the murder in question or something equally wrong, and prove just as devious as one has come to expect in the dark world of Korean cinema. Had the film been darker and captured more of a horror film feel, “Mother” would have been the perfect thriller. Instead, it rides the line between thriller and drama, never quite letting all the way go. With some stunning cinematography and a thought-provoking twist to a murder mystery, Bong’s transcends its inability to stay dark and leaves a significant benchmark in foreign films.

RELEASE DATE
March 12, 2010

DIRECTOR
Bong Joon Ho

WRITTEN BY
Bong Joon Ho
Park Eun Kyo

STUDIO
CJ Entertainment

R
(for language, some sexual content, violence and drug use)

CRIME
DRAMA
THRILLER

129 minutes

CINEMATOGRAPHER
Hong Kyung Pyo

COMPOSER
Lee Byung Woo

EDITOR
Moon Sae Kyung

CAST
Hye-ja Kim
Won Bin
Goo Jin
Je-mun Yun
Mi-seon Jeon

PRODUCED BY
Choi Jae-won
Seo Woo-sik

BUDGET
$5 million

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