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Mother (2009) – English Review


A young woman is found killed, and the police suspect that there’s a mentally challenged man who’s the perpetrator. He lives with his mother, and they have a slightly dark past together. The mother will do anything she can to free her son. Because she’s sure that he didn’t kill the young woman.

Director Bong Joon-ho is one of South Korea’s best directors, and he has made the best serial killer movie ever made, Memories of Murder. I’ve seen all of his movies, and I remember being disappointed with Mother the first time I watched it. So it was time to give it another chance to see if it clicked this time.

But no, I think Mother is Bong Joon-ho’s second weakest movie after the awful Okja! The script is disappointingly thin, and there’s not much substance here at all. The universe is cold. I found no characters I could connect to. And worst of all, the movie is boring and lifeless.

You understand why the mother is overprotective because she’s not a good person. But I felt nothing for her son, who is mentally challenged, and I found that strange. He’s so annoying, and Won Bin’s hair is disgusting!

Even after two attempts, Mother failed to engage me. I don’t feel any energy. I don’t feel that the movie engages with its cold and empty universe. Where’s the good storytelling that Bong Joon-ho is known for? The characters are dull and empty except for the mother, who struggles with her conscience after what she did to her son when he was young.

Mother has a thin story and very little character depth. Although I am disappointed with the movie, Mother offers an unexpected ending. And that ending saves much of a disappointing and weak movie.

Mother has received great reviews all over the world, but here we have a typical example of a movie that doesn’t deserve all the praise it gets. Even if your name is Bong Joon-ho, that doesn’t mean you automatically get a free ticket. I’m not an ass-kisser or an ass-licker, I’m an ass-kicker, and this is a disappointing movie! Mother has too many problems to become a Korean classic. There’s nothing special about Mother. The only special thing is that it’s an overrated movie!

Rating: 5/10

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