ASIAN FILM - Review
15:47 - 5th March 2013, by Calum Waddell

Mother

After the international success of The Host, it would have been so easy for Korean director Bong Joon-ho to play it easy. Maybe another mega-budgeted blockbuster about a snarling sea monster? Perhaps a follow-up fright film with splatter effects galore? In Joon-ho's position, it would have been simple to stay within the same genre and offer audiences more thrills and spills... But, like his closest compatriot Park Chan-wook, the filmmaker has taken a U-turn and a half when it comes to career choices. And just as Chan-wook polarised viewers with 2007's I'm a Cyborg but That's Okay, so too will Mother cause fans of The Host, maybe expecting "more of the same", to scratch their head in puzzlement.

Hye-ja is a single mother - working long hours as an acupuncturist and raising her 27-year-old son, Do-joon (played by Brotherhood's Won Bin), who has the mind of a child. Consequently, he is completely dependent on his sole guardian - even sleeping next to her at night. One evening, after a few drinks, Do-Joon follows a local girl back to an abandoned house - and when she is found dead the next morning, there is enough incriminatory evidence to ensure the young man is sent behind bars with a murder charge. An inefficient lawyer and an apathetic police force chose to turn a blind eye to any conflicting evidence, resulting in mother taking on the case by herself. But can she ever prove her child's innocence?

This is a film that will have extremely different results on everyone who sees it. We at NEO are happy to proclaim this an interesting and worthwhile experiment but, deep down, and if we were being honest, we are glad to hear that Joon-ho is currently hard at work on The Host 2...

Motherly love has never been so difficult to accept...
SCORE: 3/5
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