Mommie Dearest: "Mother" Means Business

When I'm driving home from a movie theater after midnight, I usually keep myself from falling asleep at the wheel by singing at the top of my lungs and pretending I'm Michael Bublé. (When you pretend you're Michael Bublé, you can't possibly fall asleep because you are surrounded by rainbows and unicorns.)

But after seeing the chilling South Korean thriller, Mother, I drove in complete silence. The film is chock-full of shocking revelations and events, sure, but its culminative effect managed to get under my skin. This movie doesn't shake off you so easily—kind of like overbearing Asian mothers. (And believe me, I know a thing or two about overbearing Asian mothers. [I hope you're not reading this, Mom! But if you are, I love you!])

The title character (an apothecary in a small Korean village) embarks on a murder investigation after her twentysomething son (who is slightly retarded) is accused of killing a schoolgirl. Sounds like something that belongs on Lifetime (I hope you're not reading this, Lifetime! But if you are, I love you!), but filmmaker Bong Joon-ho—who made the nifty monster movie, The Host—has fashioned (with co-writer Park Eun-kyo) a picture that blends CSI, Alfred Hitchcock, David Lynch, and Korean soap operas into an unsettling but deeply gratifying cinematic concoction.

It's also wickedly funny. Oh, but you won't be laughing when the movie's over. You'll wish Michael Bublé were standing right in front of you so that you can sock him in the jaw for making you believe in a world full of rainbows and unicorns. The world is actually full of mothers. They are the creators and the destroyers. And this movie will grab you by the throat and won't let you forget it.


  1. Korean Film is really some of the best in the world; sometimes it is a bit over the top, but there are some amazing directors like Bong Joon-ho who can really, really create. If you're ever looking for some good Korean films, let me know- I do research on gay Korean cinema.

  2. Colin, are you familiar with Bong Joon-ho's earlier films? I haven't seen them. Thoughts?