A middle-aged (unnamed) mother (Kim Hye-ja) lives with her mentally slow son, Do-joon (Won Bin), in a rundown part of town where she sells homeopathic herbs and roots. Though all around think Do-joon is good looking, his mental limitations mean that he has never had a girlfriend and he is even under the impression that sleeping with someone means exactly that. When a young girl is killed, police learn that Do-joon had been following her on the night of her death and, with the discovery of evidence near her body linking him to the crime scene; he is arrested and charged with murder. Knowing that Do-joon “couldn’t hurt a water bug”, his mother desperately tries to convince the authorities to re-investigate the case but when they refuse she realises that if her son’s innocence is to be proved she will have to find the real murderer herself. Helmed by one of the best and well-known Korean directors, Bong Joon Ho, subtly states that catching a monster often requires becoming a monster.

By Paul Quinn

Film info
2009. Directed by Bong Joon Ho, starring Kim Hye-ja, Won Bin, 129 mins.

Picturehouse Hackney, 06 Nov 15 10:45 pm

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