7.8/10
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Mother (2009)

Madeo (original title)
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A mother desperately searches for the killer who framed her son for a girl's horrific murder.

Director:

Joon-ho Bong (as Joon Ho Bong)

Writers:

Joon-ho Bong (story) (as Joon Ho Bong), Eun-kyo Park (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
37 wins & 43 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hye-ja Kim ... Mother
Won Bin ... Yoon Do-joon
Goo Jin ... Jin-tae
Je-mun Yun Je-mun Yun ... Je-moon (as Jae-moon Yoon)
Mi-seon Jeon ... Mi-sun
Sae-byeok Song ... Sepaktakraw Detective (as Sae-beauk Song)
Byoung-Soon Kim Byoung-Soon Kim ... Group Leader
Woo-hee Chun ... Mi-na
Gin-goo Kim Gin-goo Kim ... Ah-jeong's Grandma
Moo-yeong Yeo Moo-yeong Yeo ... Lawyer Kong Seok-ho (as Ou-hyung Yum)
Young-Suck Lee Young-Suck Lee ... Elder at Junk Shop
Hee-ra Mun Hee-ra Mun ... Moon Ah-jeong (as Hee-ra Moon)
Mi-do Lee Mi-do Lee ... Hyung-teo
Young-ki Jung Young-ki Jung ... Kkang-ma
Gyu-pil Go Gyu-pil Go ... Ddung-ddung (as Kyu-phill Ko)
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Storyline

A mother lives quietly with her twenty-eight-year-old son, Do-joon, providing herbs and acupuncture to neighbors. One day, a girl is brutally murdered, and Do-joon is charged with the killing. Now, it's his mother's call whether to prove him innocent or to leave him imprisoned. Written by Pusan International Film Festival

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

She'll stop at nothing.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some sexual content, violence and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

South Korea

Language:

Korean

Release Date:

28 May 2009 (South Korea) See more »

Also Known As:

Mother See more »

Filming Locations:

Busan, South Korea See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$35,858, 5 March 2010, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$547,292, 13 June 2010
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

CJ Entertainment,Barunson See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Won Bin's character has a younger fraternal relationship with a character named Jin-tae in this film. Jin-tae is the same name of Bin Won's brother in [Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War (2004)]. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Stockholms 20th International Film Festival (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Song of Joy
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven
Heard on the lawyer's phone
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
No idea this film would end up the way it did (and I'm not telling)
30 September 2009 | by sitenoiseSee all my reviews

It's too bad that because this film is ostensibly about an old lady it must be considered a "smaller" film in Bong's oeuvre. It's not. It is every bit as brilliant, and as large, as Memories of Murder, in my opinion.

In many ways this is the natural, and equal, follow-up to Memories of Murder. It's every bit the caper film that one was, and, although slightly more somber in tone, the film keeps unraveling in directions you don't expect making it much more a plot driven movie than a character study. Kim Hye-ja is, however, magnificent as the titular (gawd I hate that word but I'm using it anyway) mother. There is a scene in this film where she tells the family of the victim her son didn't do it and her eyes are so electrically charged it made me jump back from the screen. Mother fires on all cylinders. The direction, cinematography, script, and acting are all grade A. It's one of those films where each of the secondary characters steals the show for a brief period. (How 'bout that cop who kicks the apple from Won Bin's mouth?) Bong does a remarkable job of populating the world of this film with real people and manages to give them depth and development in a very short period of time. I confess to having a little trouble tracking the other female characters in the film, but no matter. There is a scene (without spoiling anything here) where Kim Hye-ja asks the other 'retarded' kid if he has a mother and it's one of the most complex and heart-rending scenes in cinematic history. Hyperbole notwithstanding, just freakin' WOW! on that one when you ponder just why she is crying.

I wasn't sure where Bong was going to end up going as a film maker. Barking Dogs Never Bite was a reasonable debut. Memories of Murder, a masterpiece. But was it a lucky shot? I'm glad I don't have to consider the dismal Antarctic Journal a Bong film if I don't want to. The Host was lots-o-fun, but that's the one that worried me. Maybe he was going to start making blockbuster type films. But now, after recently seeing his contribution to Tokyo!, and now Mother, I have every reason to believe he is going to kick my butt with interesting film for a long time.


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