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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-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

Meeting Hye-ja Kim was the chief inspiration for director Joon-ho Bong. He met with her frequently over the development of the script to make sure it suited her skills. 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

References Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) 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

 
A Nutshell Review: Mother
31 December 2009 | by DICK STEELSee all my reviews

If you're familiar with Bong Joon-ho's works, then Mother comes without surprise at how he deftly weaves a story about mother's love into a mystery thriller that will keep you guessing every step of the way, with enough emotional firepower to twist a knot in your stomach when the truth gets played out. It's a standard three act structure here where the first hour establishes the strong family bonds between Mother (Kim Hye-Ja) and child Yoon Do-Joon (Won Bin), bordering quite close to being incestuous (but this is glossed over since we're dealing with a man-child here), before they key murder scene beocmes the catalyst for Mother to do some serious investigations work in order to prove her son's innocence, given that the perverted justice system provided that bad after-taste.

I particularly enjoyed the epilogue, which ties in with the inexplicable opening credits which made more sense once you've come full circle at the end. It's the classic mantra of two wrongs never making one right, and how in the protection of loved ones, one will resort to extreme measures that blind common, good sense, and become a "rather you than me" syndrome, which I believe every one of us are capable of if we find ourselves pushed to a corner with no where to run. Bong Joon-Ho is again at his element in unravelling the investigations process, which ties in black comedy with painful, dramatic moments, being evenly paced with heightened tension at appropriate moments.

And kudos of course must go to actress Kim Hye-Ja, who almost single-handedly carried the film on her own, since Won Bin disappears mid-way through. Her single mom, with so much affection for her son, just dazzles and makes it convincing that she's been that single pillar of strength and shelter for her son when he gets up to shenanigans brought about by no good company of his. It's not the first time Do-Joon got himself into a fix, given the strange mannerisms he's been taught to try and jog his memory, and Won Bin showcases his acting chops as the dim-witted boy whose disability gets frequently exploited, coming off as endearing at times, so much so that you're quick to judge and side with him as a victim of circumstances, being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Mother is definitely recommended stuff, especially if you're a Bong Joon-Ho fan as he delivers yet another powerful film that will leave plenty of post-screening discussion.


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