When her erratic son is accused of a brutal murder, Kim Hye-ja must decide whether to defend him or leave him to the cops. In doing so, she learns more about him than she'd bargained for.
A gripping, intense character study directed by Bong Joon-ho (Memories Of Murder). In smalltown Korea, a woman (Kim Hye-ja) dotes on her slow-witted son Do-jung (Bin Won), who gets into scrapes because he hangs around with local chancer Jin-tae (Ku Jin). One night, Do-jung follows a schoolgirl in the street; next morning, she’s dead, and the youth can’t remember what happened. The police make an easy case, but Mother won’t let it lie and goes to any lengths — some quite horrid — to pin the crime on anyone else. Like Bong’s previous films, it has an aspect of straight-faced, absurd humour, but plays a chillingly serious game as the terrifying heroine learns more than she wants to about her son and the strata of tossed-aside, broken-minded people all around.
A chilling, intense character study.
Reviewed by Kim Newman