7.8/10
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Mother (2009)

Madeo (original title)
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2:10 | Trailer

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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 »
38 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-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

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

Because of phonetic differences between English and Korean, both "Mother" and "Murder" are spelled the same when translated to Korean characters. The movie title, "Madeo", is a play on this similarity, suggesting both "Mother" and "Murder". See more »

Alternate Versions

A black and white version (overseen by Joon-ho Bong) premiered at the Sydney Film Festival in 2015. The cut (and duration) remain that same, with colour altered. 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

See more »

User Reviews

 
Masterful portrayal of quiet desperation
18 September 2012 | by Leofwine_dracaSee all my reviews

As quirky and original as you'd expect from the South Koreans. MOTHER is a lengthy mystery film featuring an unusual storyline about a mother who seeks justice for her unfairly imprisoned son. Along the way, there's all the kind of bizarre supporting characters, atypical incident and genuinely surprising plot twists that you'd expect from a Korean film. This is a movie that keeps you watching throughout despite the slow pacing and lack of action.

The character development is excellent: fully natural, low key throughout, and thoroughly involving. Unsurprisingly, the actors selected to pay the various characters are just right for the part, particularly Hye-ja Kim who we only ever know as 'mother'. She's a unique choice of lead and fits the role perfectly. Won Bin, who made an excellent action hero in THE MAN FROM NOWHERE, is equally excellent here as the slow-witted son and he really gets his teeth into the part.

MOTHER may be a slow burner of a film, but it has a subtle way of truly involving the viewer in the storyline. The tension builds as the climax nears, and then the movie hits you with some moments of quiet devastation that prove a shock to the core. Fans expecting another pulse-pounding thriller like THE YELLOW SEA may be disappointed, but those with open minds will have a ball.


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