Mother (2009)

film, 2009

Mother has all the hallmarks of its fantastic director, Bong Joon-ho; a cast of cartoon characters rich in their humanity that boost its fascinating premise, moments of baffling and powerful imagery bordering on the surreal and tonal shifts that take you from stark hilarity to heartbreak in a flash, all while maintaining a believable and relatable atmosphere. This particular film is a crime drama about, as the title suggests, mothers. The film tests a mother’s fierce loyalty and propensity to protect her child, qualities that are the salvation (then ultimately revealed to be the damnation) of the crimes perpetrated. One of the most remarkable things about the film is that, because if its breadth of tone, you genuinely have no idea how the mystery is going to be resolved (until your own perception and allegiances are eventually turned on you). It’s a tricky game that Bong pulls off with ease, and we can only pray that he never moves to Hollywood so that he can continue playing it.

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