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Laramie Movie Scope: Mother (Madeo)

A mother fights to free her child

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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December 15, 2010 -- This Korean film packs a serious punch, has a killer crossover, but sort of loses its momentum at the end. It is a blend of comedy, drama, tragedy and murder mystery. The film centers on a mother (played by Hye-ja Kim) and her retarded son, Yoon Do-joon (Bin Won). Do-joon gets into trouble often with his delinquent friend, Jin-tae (Ku jin). The two are hauled in by the police for vandalizing a car and attacking its occupants at a golf course. The car nearly hit them in a hit-and-run accident and the two men were exacting vengeance. Vengeance is a major theme in this film.

Later, police arrest Yoon Do-joon for murder. It seems that he picked up some golf balls from a water hazard at the golf course, wrote his name on one and then threw it at a house where it was found at the murder scene. Yoon, not being the sharpest tool in the shed, readily signs a confession to the murder, even though he is too drunk and addle-brained to remember what happened the night of the murder. Yoon's mother and his best friend, Jin-tae, are both convinced of Yoon's innocence and start their own investigation. Jin-tae is as smart as Yoon is dumb and turns out to be a born detective. Yoon's mother is not as good a detective, but is even more determined to prove her son's innocence. The two track down a cell phone owned by the murdered woman. She had used it to secretly record sexual encounters with many men and had thought to use these pictures to blackmail the men into giving her money.

The trail of evidence leads Yoon's mother on an adventure that is far outside her comfort zone. She sneaks into people's houses looking for evidence. She poses as a social worker trying to get people to talk about the murder. There are shocking developments and strange twists to this story. It is not what it appears to be at first. It loses some of its momentum at the end because it doesn't seem to know when to stop, but it is a very good film, nonetheless. It is very well acted and written. This film rates a B+.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2010 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)