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Mother
     

Mother

Director: Bong Joon-ho

Cast: Kim Hye-Ja, Won Bin, Jin Goo

 

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A woman devoted to her son struggles to keep him from spending his life in prison in this drama from director Bong Joon-ho. Do-jun (Weon Bin) is a man in his mid-twenties who isn't especially bright and is easily led. Do-jun lives with his elderly mother (Kim Hye-ja), who loves him

Overview

A woman devoted to her son struggles to keep him from spending his life in prison in this drama from director Bong Joon-ho. Do-jun (Weon Bin) is a man in his mid-twenties who isn't especially bright and is easily led. Do-jun lives with his elderly mother (Kim Hye-ja), who loves him fiercely even though she has no illusions about his abilities or his bad habits. Do-jun spends much of his spare time with Jin-tae (Jin Gu), a borderline criminal who takes advantage of Do-jun's credulous nature, much to his mother's annoyance. When Do-jun is arrested by police and accused of the murder of a young woman, his mother is certain he couldn't have done it and sets out to prove her son's innocence to police detectives, who seem more interested in closing the case than researching other possible leads. At first, mother feels certain that Jin-tae has framed her son to avoid being punished himself, but as she digs deeper she suspects the truth is more complicated. Madeo (aka Mother) was an official selection at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Josh Ralske
Bong Joon-ho's brilliant and beguiling Mother opens with the strange image of the elderly Kim Hye-ja -- the titular matriarch -- dancing, stone-faced, in a green field. Is she celebrating her power? Or is her dance mournful? It's impossible to know. While it may seem a mere stylistic flourish at the start, by the magnificent coda of the film, the image, for all its seeming opacity, makes perfect sense. On the surface, the elements of Mother seem familiar enough. In the hands of your average filmmaker, it's a family melodrama/mystery about an irresponsible but good-natured mentally challenged young man, Do-joon (Won Bin of Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War), who's accused of murdering a schoolgirl. In the face of hostility from the victim's family and apathy from the police, his devoted mother is determined to prove Do-joon's innocence, taking whatever measures are necessary -- charming some and threatening others -- to protect her boy. In his four features, Bong has shown a tremendous talent for taking seemingly straightforward cinematic ingredients and giving them a unique twist. Whether it's a serial-killer procedural in Memories of Murder or a giant monster running rampant in The Host, Bong defies audience expectation again and again with a boldly entertaining blend of genre elements and sociopolitical subtexts. Part of the triumph of Mother is that even fans who are expecting the filmmaker's genre-bending approach to the material will be consistently surprised and delighted by what Bong has in store. Bong, who co-wrote the script with Park Eun-kyo, doesn't rush into the action. The plot develops at a naturalistic pace, but from the beginning, as Mother -- while at her job -- distractedly watches Do-joon play with a dog across the street, there's a sense of impending disaster. Do-joon is involved in a minor car accident, goes in search of vengeance with his reckless friend, Jin-tae (Jin Goo of the fine gangster films A Bittersweet Life and A Dirty Carnival), gets arrested, and gets drunk. Seemingly unconnected details accrue, and the tension builds. As Mother determinedly investigates, we gradually gain a deeper understanding of her heartrending relationship with her son, and we come to know the characters surrounding them, including the murder victim. It's a dark but enjoyably suspenseful journey. If anything, the filmmaker blends genre elements and moods even more seamlessly than he has in the past. A scene where Mother knocks over a bottle while sneaking out of a sleeping suspect's apartment, and watches, frozen, in silent terror as the spilled water slowly oozes across the floor toward the potential killer's outstretched hand, is typical of Bong's high-tension mastery. Supporting performances by Won Bin and Jin Goo are wonderful, but this is Kim's movie. With grace and power, she makes us feel the intensity of Mother's pursuit, and every bit of pain, guilt, and sadness underlying her determination. As the puzzle pieces begin to come together, the film transcends its genre trappings, and a rich portrait of an insular society emerges, with its provincialism, its class and gender iniquities, and -- hand in hand with Bong's typical cinematic playfulness and wit -- a surprisingly potent sense of underlying despair. Mother has been compared to the work of Alfred Hitchcock, and for once, it's a valid comparison, as the sharp, suspenseful film delves into the complex psychosexual territory that Hitchcock made his trademark. But it's also singular, culturally specific, and clearly the work of a master filmmaker with his own unique style and impressive power.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/20/2010
UPC:
0876964003070
Original Release:
2009
Rating:
R
Source:
Magnolia
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen, Color]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time:
2:09:00
Sales rank:
43,522

Special Features

Closed Caption; Making of Mother; Production design featurette; Supporting actors featurette; Cinematography featurette; Music score featurette

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Kim Hye-Ja Mother
Won Bin Yoon Do-joon
Jin Goo Jin-tae
Yoon Jae-moon Je-mun
Jun Mi-sun Mi-sun
Song Sae-beauk Sepaktakraw Detective
Lee Young-suck Ragman
Moon Hee-ra Moon Ah-jung
Chun Woo-hee Mina
Kim Byeong-seon Chief
Yu Mou-young Mr. Gong Suk-ho (lawyer)
Jung Young-ki Thin high schooler
Ko Kyu-phill Fat High Schooler
Lee Mi-do Girl with scar
Kim Gin-goo Ah-jung's grandmother
Kim Hong-jip Jong-pal
Min Kyung-Jin Mr. Gong's Assistant
Cho Kyung-sook Mina's mother
Park Myeong-shin Shop owner
Yoon Yeong-geol Detective
Gweon Byeong-Gil Golf Course Dean
Gweon Beom-taek Golf Course Cart Driving Professor
Ha Deok-sung Golf Course Runaway Professor
Yeom Dong-hun Golf Course Fat Professor
Lee Young-eun Ah-jung's Relative
Yim Geun-ah Ah-jung's Relative
Hwang Young-hee Ah-jung's Pregnant Relative
Kim Mi-joon Hye-ja's Customer
Hong Gyung-yeon Hye-ja's Customer
Kim Tae-wan Young Do-joon
Yoo In-soo Prisoner
Cho Moon-ui Prisoner Wearing Glasses
Kwack Byung-gyu Charcoal Man
Lee Dae-Yun Pharmacist
Lim Sung-mi Ah-jung's Friend with Scar
Sung Joon-seo Prison Guard Uncle Jong-do
Lim Hyoung-guk Journalist
Han Jee-jee Policewoman
Kim Min-Jung Miss Kim
Jang Pil-gyung Middle Schooler Playing Game
Moon Bock-dong Middle Schooler Eating Rice Cake
Kim Tae-hwan Middle School Eating Fish Cake
Lee Seung-hyung Middle Schooler Wearing Glasses
Nam Sung-ho Waiter at Manhattan
Lee Ok-joo Employee at a Supermarket
Kim Jung-wook Detective Wearing Leather Jacket
Kim Bo-gyeong Barmaid
Lee Byeol-im Barbaid Mixing Drinks
Lee Hyun-joo Barmaid Clapping Hands
Han Mee Caddie
Choi Jae-won Mr. Park Jong-pyo (Prosecutor)
Lee Gyu-hyun Dr. Yoon Jong-gu
Kim Gyu-nam Man Watching Spot Investigation
Jang Yong-joo Man Watching a Car Accident
Choi So-mang British Boy
Christopher Briscoe British Boy's Dad
Park Tae-joon Waiter at a Karaoke
Yoon Hye-jin Young Woman at a Coach Station
Jeong Dong Detective
Kwon Ki-hoon Detective
Shin Young-sik Taxi Driver
Shin-Jae-young Laundress
Park In-mok Cook-pot at Grill House
Yoo Jong-hwan Taxi Driver

Technical Credits
Bong Joon-ho Director,Original Story,Screenwriter
Lee Byeong-Woo Score Composer
Jung Do-an Special Effects
Park Eun-kyo Screenwriter
Hwang Hyun-kyu Makeup
Hong Kyung-Pyo Cinematographer
Miky Lee Executive Producer
Moon Sae-kyoung Editor
Choi Se-Yeon Costumes/Costume Designer
Ryu Seong-heui Production Designer
Park Tae-joon Producer
Choi Tae-yeong Sound/Sound Designer
Seo Woo-sik Producer
Moon Yang-Kwon Producer
Yu Yeong-il Special Effects

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Mother
1. A Mother [3:44]
2. Hit and Run [8:21]
3. Eat [7:04]
4. A Girl [2:45]
5. Murder [13:30]
6. Crime Scene [10:55]
7. Snooping [14:37]
8. Motives [7:12]
9. Investigating [5:59]
10. Photos [4:20]
11. Ah-Jung's Friend [4:41]
12. Interrogation [4:04]
13. The Cell Phone [3:14]
14. Junk Dealer [3:41]
15. The Release [16:15]
16. Credits [12:59]

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