Director, Joon-ho Bong's Mother is a palate cleanser for those of us drawn to darker cinematic fare. What starts as a somewhat comedic affair, soon becomes an engrossing mystery in the tradition of Alfred Hitchcock full of twists, turns, red herrings and MacGuffins. However, just when you think you've got it all figured out, Mother turns tail and trots out some honestly blood curdling , psycho-sexual, mind blowing moments - it's like David Lynch showed up at the last minute and said, "Here let's do this", and the next thing you know somebody is sticking acupuncture needles in their leg and dancing on a bus.
Bin Won plays Yoon Do-joon, a simple minded, seemingly, innocent young man who lives under the watchful eye of his doting, middle aged mother, Hye-ja Kim. One day, a local school girl is found dead, and Yoon Do-joon is accused of her murder. Corrupt attorney's and shady police are of no help, so Mother puts on her Nancy Drew cap and begins sleuthing in order to clear her beloved son's name.
Hye-ja Kim is a revelation as the titular character. For most of the film, she looks world weary and grim, but possessed of such great resolve that she can instantly morph into a subservient character, a crazed advocate, a bit of a flirt, and, when she needs to, a cold blooded killer. Where, oh where was this woman's Academy Award nomination for best actress in a foreign film?
Do yourself a favor and skip the zombie-of-the-week-crap-fest, and spend some time watching Mother. This is not a horror film, it is not a slasher film, it is not hyper kinetic, nor is it a gore fest, and it's certainly not sexy; but it is one of the best mystery films you will probably see this year.
|"M" is for the many things she gave me...|