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2 user 15 critic

Madonna (2015)

A VIP hospital nurse is on a journey to find out the next of kin of the brain dead prostitute, and uncovers her sad life story.

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Cast

Credited cast:
... Hae-rim
So-Hyeon Kwon ... Mi-na
Young-min Kim ... Sang-woo
Yo-han Byun ... Hyeok-gyoo (as Yo-han Byeon)
Seo-hie Ko ... Hyeon-joo (as Seo-hee Ko)
Soon-cheol Yoo ... Cheol-oh
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sang-hee Lee ... Ah-ram
... Herself (archive footage)
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Storyline

A VIP hospital nurse is on a journey to find out the next of kin of the brain dead prostitute, and uncovers her sad life story.

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Drama

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2 July 2015 (South Korea)  »

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2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

 
A very good quality, downbeat drama
19 June 2017 | by See all my reviews

Check me out as the Asian Movie Enthusiast on YouTube.

A nurse's aide named Hae-rim is in charge of an important patient who is completely paralyzed and awaits a heart transplant. The man's son attempts to extend the man's life expectancy for the purpose of receiving his fortune. And considering the status of the patient, most of the hospital staff follow along very willingly. Then, after an accident, a pregnant young woman named Mi-na is carried into the hospital in a vegetative state, and the cold-blooded son (of the old man) sees this as an opportunity for his father, so he offers the nurse's aide a deal. The deal is for her to get an organ donation consent form from the Mi-na's family. Since our protagonist, Hae-rim, is in a poor financial state, she accepts the deal for money. So she sets out to find Mi-na's family with the clue that her nickname was "Madonna," but along the way she discovers the girl's unfortunate past.

The interesting thing about the storytelling structure here is that we basically have two main protagonists: the nurse's aide and the pregnant girl. Fairly early on, however, the flashback sequences become longer and even though these scenes are technically told by Mi-na's acquaintenances (as part of Hae-rim's investigation), it feels like the story is being told from Mi-na's perspective. So we get to spend a lot of time with her, which would not have been the case had the filmmakers simply held the mystery element and told the story solely from Hae-rim's perspective.

You see what happens to her in the present first, and then they shift to an old flashback to her highschool years. After that, they gradually bridge the gap in chronological order and show you how she got from Point A to Point B. This is portrayed in a convincingly realistic manner and I can definitely see this kind of thing happening in real life – and I'm certain that it has happened many times over. Her character is a bit awkward and she has difficulty connecting with other people, which often leads to her getting bullied and taken advantage of, and that's the basis for much of the film. So yes, our titular character is properly developed.

With regard to Hae-rim, she's caught between a rock and a hard place due to the politics at the hospital. There are definitely some shady shenanigans going on there, and she's pressured to acquire that organ donation consent regardless of whether or not the means are immoral. So she grapples with that throughout the film. There are also a handful of social commentary subtexts in this as well, which I will let you discover for yourself.

In terms of negatives, there really were not many that jumped out at me while watching "Madonna." This is 2 full hours long and moves slowly, so I can see some viewers having a bit of a problem with its pacing. But it does unfold efficiently and takes its time to tell a well developed story. The drama and conflict also ramp up during the second half for sure.


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