Reader Rating (Rate Here): [Total: 2 Average: 4.5/5]
Dirrected By: Bong Joon-Ho
Cast: Kim Hye-Ja, Won Bin, Jin Goo
Madeo is Korean for mother and is about a mother who tries to prove her son’s innocence after he is accused of a murder. Directed by Bong Joon-Ho, Mother competed in the Un Certain Regard category at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival and featured in the top 10 list of many critics.
Madeo (Kim Hye-Ja) takes care of her only son by selling medicinal herbs while also administering unlicensed acupuncture to the women of the town. Her son Yoon Do-Joon (Won Bin) as instructed by his mother gets violent when someone mocks his marginal intelligence. Yoon hangs out with good for nothing Jin-Tae (Jin Goo) and both have frequent run ins with the cops and each time Jin takes advantage of Yoon’s disability and blames him. One day Yoon comes home very late, alone and drunk. A murder happens and all the circumstantial evidence point towards Yoon. Shoddy police work follows and they make it an open and shut case culminating with Yoon’s arrest. Madeo takes it upon herself in proving her son’s innocence. So, is Jin Tae the real culprit or the evidence doesn’t lie and Yoon has done it or there is someone else all together.
The movie begins as a straight forward murder mystery. Madeo is a crusader against authority and their lack of accountability. The audience supports Madeo and wants her to succeed in her battle. If you believe it to be a simple movie then you don’t know Bong Joon-ho. He has always been the guy who has made the audience think and talk about the movie and question their morality. Till the killer is revealed, the movie is as simple as any. It leaps and bounds to epic proportions then, as the theme suddenly changes to noir. I felt watching this movie alone was a bad idea as I wanted to discuss with people as to what they themselves would have done. It will take you into an entire different direction just when you think of predicting the ending.
Kim Hye-Ja is in the center of the movie playing an unnamed widow. Kim has spent most of her life in theater and this is her first movie after a decade. Bong created a script just for her and took 4 years to convince her to do this movie. The movie is focused on her and we see what Madeo sees, hears or understands. She defines the pace of the movie- walking slowly, cajoling people for information, harassing police officers to help her. Kim is at her best and its a shame that she hasn’t done many movies. Rest of the actors are fine and are good in their respective supporting roles.
I am a big fan of Korean directors and my fandom started with Bong’s Memories of Murder. He always makes movies evaluating the human nature and does a deep character study. His movies suck you into believing something and when you have made your judgement it will throw the same on your face and ask the question “would you have also done the same?”. There are no superheroes or caped crusaders, just humans who would do amazing things when push comes to shove. I loved it, it was brilliant and would gladly say it was one the best movies I have seen. Watch it and share your rating above.
Watch the Trailer: