Don't hate her son. She won't stand it. She is mother.
Widowed for a long time, a mother lives alone with her only son. He is 28 years old, a shy and quiet young man.
One day there is a terrible murder, and the woman’s hopeless, helpless son becomes the prime suspect. There is no real evidence against him, but the police groundlessly suspect him almost instantly. The trouble is that there is no way he can prove his innocence.
Eager to close the case, the police are happy with their cursory investigation and they arrest the boy. His defense attorney turns out to be incompetent and unreliable and a conviction seems inevitable. So, faced with no other choice, his mother gets involved, determined to prove her son’s innocence.
Screenplay for 'Mother' was written specifically with veteran actress Hye-ja Kim in mind and her character is named 'Hye-ja' accordingly.
As of November 10, 2008 'Mother' has completed approximately 20% of its filming. The movie has already sold distribution rights to Diaphana Films in France and Bitters End in Japan.
Mother was released at Cannes in May 2009 where it was invited to the 'Un Certain Regard' section drew rave reviews from critics and ovations from audiences
The movie set new box-office record for 2009 claiming over 1.4 million admissions playing on 765 screens in its first four days. It topped the weekend box office from May 29 to 31, edging out 'Terminator IV'. Through its South Korean theatrical run 'Mother' sold a total of 3 million tickets (grossing 19.9 billion ₩) and staying in the top ten for 6 consecutive weeks.
Mother became Korean selection to compete for the Best Foreign Language Film in the 82nd Academy Awards in 2010 winning the battle with Park Chan-Wook's Thirst and Yang Ik-joon's Breathless.
«... what Mother serves us with is a dose of 2000s pungent scent, specifically of Lee Myung-Bak's Korea. ... If Memories of Murder brimmed with chaotic violence borne out of the "glorious" 80s, the invisible violence against the weak displayed in Mother is all the more painful - perhaps because many people are living it as we speak. ... Mother is many things which remind of Bong's older exploits, but also shows the possibility of a new direction, elements which could seriously come into play in a few years... »
«Less visionary than Bong's 2003 serial-killer mystery, "Memories of Murder," but with the same skillfully natural evocation of a rural community hiding dark secrets, "Mother" will prove a tougher sell than Bong's hit monster movie, "The Host," but should get a warm embrace from upscale auds, despite having been unjustly denied a competition berth at Cannes.»
«Bong likes to build his stories around ordinary people. ... His manner is operatic: reactions, facial expressions, sound design, even the weather (see the use of rain in Mother) tend to be over the top. Even Won Bin's stupefied look is rapturous in its dullness. Typically for Bong, there are plenty of small jokes at the expense of movie cliches - misrecognitions, comically inappropriate reactions - jokes that make you wince as you laugh.»
«Whilst similar in nature ‘Mother’ stands tall in its own right as a great example of well paced film making. Whilst many will find the first half of ‘Mother’ boring, those familiar with the movies of Bong and to a certain extent Hitchcock, well find the mix of drama and thriller an almost perfect blend.»
«Tracking through the story with her provides thrills and shocks and more than a bit of bone jarring violence in the rather graphic fashion known as the modern way. But there's quite some mastery here in telling the story and Korea's soft underbelly, a nation on the collective make and out to get what it can, gets more than a little attention.»
«Mother suffers somewhat from being a melodrama in which the strongest emotion stems from the director's absurdist scorn for his creations. Still, there's no denying the power of Kim's central performance, or Bong's tremendous stylistic control over the film's shifts in mood and gallery of dancing fools whose dark stories seem perpetually about to topple into farce.»
«For all of Bong’s motifs both narrative and aesthetic, what is most impressive is his ability to seamlessly orchestrate so many different modes of expression and still retain the overall feeling of unity. ... It’s an equally bold counterpart to the film’s opening, but more importantly it’s a stunningly composed shot from a director who isn’t afraid to risk the previous two hours on an oblique, uninhibited shot. And personally, I think it all pays off.»
«It is the kind of movie that leaves you spent, stunned and even devastated. Aside from being an unusually powerful thriller blessed with the maybe-twice-in-a-lifetime great performance from a veteran Korean actress, "Mother" is also an awesomely ambitious artistic statement that cuts deeply into the true nature of love and devotion.»
«- Is making social commentary what drives your ideas and filmmaking?
- It's not to say that the main purpose is to criticise or say something about society as a greater whole, but I'm more concerned with the individual and specific people and the human concerns that arise within a narrative. Because I'm obviously making films that concern Korean characters, I think there's probably something in that regard of cultural sense in the peoples that I portray and the characters, but I think it's also hard to separate an individual from the society that they come from, as well. »
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