ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – M – Mother (2009) Movie Review

Director: Bong Joon Ho

Writer: Eun-Kyo Park, Bong Joon Ho (Screenplay) Bong Joon Ho (Story)

Starring: Hye-ja Kim, Won Bin, Goo Jin, Je-mun Yun, Mi-seon Jeon, Sae-byeok Song

Plot: A mother desperately searches for the killer who framed her son for a girl’s horrific murder.


Tagline – She’ll stop at nothing.

Runtime: 2 Hours 9 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Dark Crime Thriller

Story: Mother starts as we meet young man Yoon Do-joon (Bin) whose mother (Kim) always watches over him, making sure he doesn’t get into trouble, he best friend does tend to get him into trouble and when a 12 year-old girl gets murdered, Do-joon becomes the prime suspect.

With Do-joon in jail waiting for a trial, his mother isn’t as convinced that he is guilty and pleads with the lead detective Je-moon (Yun) an old school friend to help find the truth, before deciding she is the only one that can clear his name.

Thoughts on Mother

Characters – The Mother who never gives her name, always watches over her son, making sure he doesn’t get into trouble, dealing with his disabilities, when he gets accused of murder, she is the only one that will believe he is innocent and goes in search of answers, a determined figure that isn’t going to let her son go to jail for something he never did. Do-joon is the mentally challenged young man that people do take advantage off, his mother does watch over him to try and stop this happening, but he is accused of murder and even here he is taken advantage off, when looking for a suspect. Jin-tae is one man that has always used Do-joon, he is the closest thing to a friend and once he teams up with Mother, he starts helping her find the answers she is looking for, in his own violent way.

PerformancesHye-ja Kim is excellent in the leading role, she shows all the desperation her character is going through, along with the constant worry she is experiencing for her son. Won Bin plays his role with a natural feel, showing us that he can be taken advantage off, but he is capable of everyday function, the rest of the cast are great through the film, never looking out of place in this everyday life that has a sudden incident.

StoryThe story here follows a mother that will do anything to try and get her son of a murder charge, a crime he didn’t commit, but was made to be the prime suspects because of his behaviour of the night of the crime. This does show us how an overprotective mother will do whatever it takes to prove the innocence of their child, how not every crime is cut and dry and shows us just how the bigger story could have many bigger issues going on in the background. We are kept guessing to how this will unfold, with a list of potential suspects growing as the story unfolds, though we never seem to address how the police pushed Do-joon into a confession, knowing he wasn’t capable of understanding the situation fully.

CrimeThe crime is the murder of a 12-year-old girl, we don’t see it, we don’t learn about what was done to them, we just know they were killed and that the killer is still at large, unsure of their own motivation for committing this crime.

SettingsThe film keeps us in a small town, one where everybody does know the strengths and weaknesses in people, one where any news moves quickly and people are always looking for a quick answer.


Scene of the Movie – The visit to the homeless man.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not addressing how Do-joon was treating in his interrogation.

Final Thoughts This is a wonderfully dark crime thriller that brings to life a story about proving innocence at any cost.

Overall: Wonderfully Acted Thriller.

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