Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Review: Mother (2009)

Mother (Review)
Bong Joon-ho/Kim Hye-ja/2009
Where to Watch:
Netflix Streaming
Amazon Prime

"...masterfully builds up great suspense and tension, as well as a very immersive atmosphere."

When her son, Do-joon (Won Bin), is arrested for murder, a dedicated mother (Kim Hye-ja) will stop at nothing to prove his innocence.

Mother follows this unnamed mother as she investigates the murder of a young girl -- a murder that has been pinned on her son in an open-and-shut case. She takes the investigation into her own hands and begins to track any potential suspects, and she also retraces the victim's final steps. It's an interesting, engaging, and even suspenseful mystery. The climax is haunting, and the ending is superb.

Mother is an all-around great film. The story is fantastic. I thought it was very original and refreshing, and it uses themes motherhood and family very well -- it's very interesting to see how far a mother will go for her son. The mystery keeps you guessing, and the investigation keeps you involved, which is exactly how it should be. The film masterfully builds up great suspense and tension, as well as a very immersive atmosphere. It felt a little lengthy and bloated, though, which is my only complaint -- and it's really a minor complaint at that.

The acting is superb. Kim Hye-ja is magnificent, she's very genuine and charismatic. Won Bin share less screen time, but delivers an equally impressive performance. (We really don't see enough of him in film.) As usual for a Bong Joon-ho film, the cinematography is elegant; the film looks absolutely stunning. The music is also fantastic; very unique and well-fitted. The English subtitles in the Amazon Prime Instant Video are practically perfect -- I didn't notice any errors. Director Bong Joon-ho expertly crafts a wonderful drama filled with suspense; he crafts an atmosphere that keeps you hooked and practically in awe.

Overall, Mother is a fantastic crime drama. The mystery and investigation are perfectly crafted, the suspense and tension are dreadful (in a good way), and the film is technically brilliant. It felt a little bloated due to a few scenes being dragged out. It's a very minor complaint and in fact my only complaint, but worth nothing. Don't miss out on this film if you're a fan of the genre, cast, or director.

Score: 9/10
Parental Guide: Some strong violence and blood, brief sex and nudity.

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