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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another gem from director Bong Joon-ho
"Mother" is the story of the mother of Do-joon, a mentally slow 27 year old still living at home. The mother is an unlicenced acupuncturist who sells medicinal herbs from her small town shop. After a night on the town, Do-joon is accused of murdering a school girl. The mother, believing her son innocent, investigates the facts behind the murder and slowly but slowly...
Published on 4 Dec 2010 by Jared M

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Well..
this film is to be honest, well shot with good acting. Personally, I've seen better films, but this one does not have the suspense that should go with a film of this type as much as the director tries, but does'nt quite capture.

All in all, a decent film but I'd recommend you watch The Chaser for a better film imo.
Published 8 months ago by Mr. Fergus Kenny


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another gem from director Bong Joon-ho, 4 Dec 2010
By 
Jared M (New Zealand) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mother [DVD] (DVD)
"Mother" is the story of the mother of Do-joon, a mentally slow 27 year old still living at home. The mother is an unlicenced acupuncturist who sells medicinal herbs from her small town shop. After a night on the town, Do-joon is accused of murdering a school girl. The mother, believing her son innocent, investigates the facts behind the murder and slowly but slowly determines the identity of the murderer.

Bong Joon-ho, the Korean director of acclaimed films "Memories of Murder" and "The Host", has created another modern gem in "Mother". Following a slightly bizarre opening in which the mother walks through a meadow and then breaks into a dance, "Mother" slowly but assuredly moves forward to its shattering conclusion. In contrast to his previous effort "The Host", there is little in the way of special effects, and "Mother" is very much a story driven film. This is a strength of Bong's; he is able to tell a story without reverting to unnecessary window dressing. However, the real delight of the film is the portrayal of both the mother (Kim Hye-ja in a poignant performance) and of the son (Won Bin, the younger brother from Taeguk-gi aka "Brotherhood"). Both actors put in stellar turns but they are ably assisted by the supporting cast - particularly Jin Ku as Jin-tae, who puts in a crucial turn that belies his initially unsympathetic characterisation. The film's events takes place in a small (unidentified) town in South Korea, and this has a distinctly grimy and rural feel, both in setting and in its inhabitants.

Issues? Well, this is not a particularly fast paced movie and this is quite reminiscent of another director who knows how to tell a story, Clint Eastwood. Still, I think the pacing could have been picked up in a couple of places, and the director does take his time in establishing his characters before moving to the violent event that really sets the story in motion. But this is the only fault I could find, and I couldn't bear to mark this film down for that, because it is a brilliant cinematic story in all other respects.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Mother-Lode, 30 Oct 2010
This review is from: The Mother [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Do-jung (played by Bin Won) is a rather simple young man that is constantly finding himself in trouble because of his friendship with local small-time hoodlum Jin-tae (Ku Jin). One night, Do-jung follows a young girl home after a drunken night out. When her dead body shows up the next morning, the police sense an easy case and arrest Do-jung for the crime. Do-jung is unable to remember the night in question and unwittingly signs a confession sheet condemning him with the crime. At this point we follow his unnamed mother (Kim Hye-ja) as she goes to great lengths -some of which are unimaginable- in which to prove her sons' innocence.

Directed by Bong Joon-ho (who also wrote & directed 2003's masterpeice 'Memories Of Murder'), this is a wonderful character study of the love between a mother and her only son. The shocking nature of some of the scenes are interspersed with absurd, straight-faced humour which constantly gives the dark subject matter even more depth and humanity. The performances are superb throughout but special mention must go to Kim Hye-ja. She is simply sublime. Each scene she plays unto itself with little regard for what came before or of what is to come later, this is the sign of a pure actress giving a performance of genuine emotion & gravitas without ever succumbing to the histrionics that other, more well known actors, would surely provide.

This is as good a film as I've seen all year (and believe me, that is too many to count) and is proof along with the harrowing chinese war drama 'City Of Life And Death' that the asian film market is currently in great health.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Emotionally complex thriller, 27 Sep 2010
By 
Mr. C. Moore "chris79320" (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mother [DVD] (DVD)
From the director of 'Memories of Murder', 'Mother' continues to an extent that film's theme of bungled justice. This time the accused, a young man with special needs, has his mother to fight his cause. But 'Mother' treads the tightrope between righteously defending the accused and allowing motherly feelings to overwhelm a sense of justice.

All of the central performances are excellent, but special mention must go to 'Mother' herself. Kim Hye-ja creates a believable portrait of a woman who lives equally between hope and denial. 'Mother' hurls its characters towards its shattering conclusion and in doing so leaves the viewer with a complex array of feelings towards its main character.

Another excellent example of Korean film and another film for American cinema to attempt to emulate and fail miserably
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Korean Testament to the Human Condition, 9 Jun 2011
By 
Tommy Dooley (London, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Mother [DVD] (DVD)
I had been meaning to see this for a while and now regret putting it off. This is another fine example of how excellent Asian and in particular Korean cinema has become. This is from the writer and director of `Memories of Murder' (Bong Joon-Ho)and he builds on his reputation here with another brilliantly crafted film.

It tells of the story of the `mentally challenged' Do-Jung (played by Bin Won), his mother is a herbal medicine maker and illegal acupuncturist on the side. Her son is slow witted and hangs around with a local n'er do well Jin -Tae. He tends to lead Do-Jung astray but he is easily led. His mother has an almost fanatical devotion to her son which goes to extraordinary lengths to care for him.

Do-Jung is supposed to meet Jin-Tae one night at a local bar, but Jin -Tae fails to show. Do-Jung gets very drunk and after passing out is told to get out. On his way home he follows a young girl and tries to talk to her, he is rebuked and goes home. The following day she is found murdered and left in a conspicuous place so is easily found.

The police carry out an unimaginative `investigation' and decide it must be Do-Jung. He is so confused that he signs a confession.

This is where it kicks off, his mum starts to do anything she can to get him released. The lengths she will go to, know no bounds and her journey to discover the truth reveals more truths than she ever wanted to come out.

This is a two hour film that feels like half an hour. It is beautifully shot, the musical score is excellent and the acting superb. This is a story of the human condition, slovenly police and a corrupt system of justice. It could also be called `how far will a mother go?' It had me gripped through out and the unpolished reality of the sets was truly refreshing. If you are a world cinema fan then this is a must see.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, 18 April 2011
This review is from: Mother [DVD] (DVD)
This is one of the finest examples of Korean film making- an outstanding mix of comic, disbelief, suspense, culture and "who dunnit"- it is just outstanding.
The "Mother" is played by an amazing actress who manages to portray every spectrum of emotion and age. She looks old and worn down by life and the constant goings on of her son. Then in another scene, she looks radiant. When her son is taken away by the police she is so distraught and the scene is heartbreaking.

Her "son" portays this incredible idiotic being and it's hard to belive he can function in life without her at his side, in fact the film proves that he can't.

She takes the commitments of motherhood to a whole new level- a MUST see if you love Korean and Asian film making.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 4 April 2014
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This review is from: The Mother [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Amazing movie, the edition itself is ok, with the normal set of extra material, if you like thrillers, don't miss this.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Well.., 30 Oct 2013
By 
Mr. Fergus Kenny (Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mother [DVD] (DVD)
this film is to be honest, well shot with good acting. Personally, I've seen better films, but this one does not have the suspense that should go with a film of this type as much as the director tries, but does'nt quite capture.

All in all, a decent film but I'd recommend you watch The Chaser for a better film imo.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great performances and visuals but not quite as good as Memories of Murder, 30 Nov 2012
This review is from: Mother [DVD] (DVD)
If you are coming to South Korean cinema for the first time you may find this hard going but fans of this nations fantastic and diverse output of cinema in recent years will find all the things you'd expect.
A weird surreal story and characters, great performances and most of all that magnificent technical skill in the framing, lighting, sets, camera movements and pure cinematic craft and skill that is visible in every frame.
Not to everyones taste but I loved it. Like most South Korean thrillers, by Hollywood standards it would be classed as a Drama. This is due to less of a focus on action and twists and turns (though there are some very good ones) and a stronger focus on characters and emotions.
Due to the Tartan Extreme distribution label many people associate Asian thrillers with extreme amounts of gore and though South Korea has produced some masterpieces that are very violent this is not particularly violent or gory (basically you could watch this with your mum or your Granny).
A great film that loses a star not so much on it's own merits but in comparison to the director's other work, especially 'Memories of Murder' which is a true masterpiece. This is still a great film and essential viewing for fans of South Korean cinema.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Joon-Ho's Powerful Tragi-Comedy, 28 Aug 2012
By 
Keith M - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Mother [DVD] (DVD)
South Korean director Bong Joon-Ho's 2009 film Mother is a very interesting (and, in the main, impressive) tragi-comedy, focusing on a mother's devotion to her son, and is filled with quirky cinematic touches which builds to a powerful conclusion. The film also makes a number of serious points around the treatment and exploitation of the mentally incapacitated in modern day communities.

Showcasing a superb central performance by veteran Korean actress Hye-ja Kim as the unnamed title character, the film is a deeply felt and sympathetic portrayal of the potential limits of maternal devotion in modern day (South Korean) society. The film's central narrative follows the mother's attempt to clear the name of her shy and mentally incapacitated son Yoon Do-joon (in an increasingly effective performance by Bin Won), who she believes has been framed for the murder of an apparently promiscuous teenager. Joon-Ho's film contains a number of idiosyncratic and inventive cinematic touches, as the mother's efforts are frustrated by the police's superficial forensic processes and a bizarre, karaoke-singing lawyer whose advice is that the mother should opt for a reduced (4 year) period for her son in a psychiatric institution rather than face a potential 15-year jail sentence.

Joon-Ho's story also emphasises the societal difficulties faced by Do-joon, as his mental incapacity is exploited first by his cocky friend Jin-Tae (an impressive Goo Jin) and then by the police who attempt to kid him into confessing to the crime. Do-joon's mental faculties also play an important part in the plot development, as his recollection of events at the time of the murder gradually seep back into his consciousness. However, the plot finally turns when the mother's digging uncovers the potential real murderer (a junkyard keeper), leading to a series of plot twists, culminating in a subtle, but devastating, conclusion as the mother and son's relationship is subjected to a number of shocking revelations.

A film which gradually builds in emotional power, and one which comes recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A mother's love - great world cinema for a select few, 2 Sep 2011
By 
T. BROOKES "Brookey" (Midlands, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mother [DVD] (DVD)
This Korean film won't be everyone's cup of barley tea, but it is clever, deep and well done.

Mother tells the tale of a loving, single mother struggling with a mentally handicapped son. The son, after a few scuffles, is later arrested for the murder of a local teenage girl. Did he do it? His mother then fights for justice and to clear his perceived innocence. Is it all as clear as it seems?

This different, murder mystery drama has all the makings of a quirky Korean classic find, being dark, comic and suspenseful. It does have twists, shocks, good cinematography and solid acting performances. This all combines to make a great world cinema film, with an interesting plot, but as I say the nature of Asian cinema, will make this a watch for film fans and buffs only.
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