Film Review by Philip Concannon | 16 Aug 2010
  • Mother
Film title: Mother
Director: Joon-ho Bong
Starring: Kim Hye-ja, Bin Won, Ku Jin, Yoon Jae-Moon
Release date: 20 August 2010
Certificate: 15

Mother is a thriller, but it's also a comedy, a mystery, a satire and an emotionally resonant drama. Such a blend of seemingly disparate styles and tones is par for the course with Korean director Joon-ho Bong. The story is deceptively simple: a doting middle-aged mother (Kim Hye-ja) is devastated when her mentally-challenged son (Bin Won) is accused of a brutal murder. Convinced of his innocence she sets out to find the real culprit. However, nothing is ever that straightforward and Bong's taut screenplay develops in surprising and sometimes shocking ways. Mother is shot and edited with wonderful precision, and Bong continues to stun with his unerring ability to strike a perfect balance between the film's lighter and darker elements. There is also a delicacy and tenderness about Mother and Bong handles the powerful bond between parent and child perfectly, while Hye-ja's fearless performance in the lead role brings an edge of underlying mania to her character that makes you wonder if mother really does know best. [Philip Concannon]