Poetry (2010)

Director: Lee Chang Dong
Casts: Yun Jung Hee, Lee Da Wit, Kim Hui Ra, Ahn Nae Sang, and Kim Yong Taek
Genre: Drama
Running Time: 139 minutes

An elderly lady in her 60s (Yun Jung Hee) works as a caregiver for a disabled man and raises her only grandson alone. She has to handle her early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. She finds that her grandson is one of the attackers of a junior high schoolgirl who committed suicide. While going through all these poems, she wants to become a poet that she decides to attend a poetry class and composes poems.

The elderly lady is focused a lot since it’s her story. You could imagine the hard times she has to go through with it. She has to take care of her lazy and irresponsible grandson which makes me angry. He should be thankful that she has been working hard and giving him the support throughout his whole life. He shouldn’t be one of the attackers who hurt the innocent girl in the very first place. I was even angrier when the boys’ fathers ask her to be part of giving money to the girl’s mother. This is absolutely wrong to cover up the boys’ mistakes. The boys’ should admit and accept the punishment instead of the school and their parents covering worrying about their status. In this film, we explore this elderly lady who has a hard time and has a disease. It reminds the viewers about their grandparents, too. Remember the smiles and effort from them who are with us. Also, when they get sick, they also are having a hard time to survive till the very end. This film breaks my heart because, truthfully, it reminds me about my grandparents from both of my parents.

On the other hand, we explore the passion about poem. The elderly lady takes on poetry to explore her own life and feelings which allow her to compose poem. Every time she looks and feels within her surroundings, she writes it down which I like it even though she only write a few sentences. A few sentences with meaningful feelings do give the impact to me as I am also interested in poets. She writes down the poems which reflect her life. The director gives off a great ending: an elderly lady writes one poem before she, maybe, commits suicide like the junior high school girl, Agnes. The poem is ‘Agnes Song’. The poem is meaningful because she understands how Agnes has gone through and she’s truly begging her for forgiveness. In addition to that, I believe her painful childhood memories are similar to Agnes’s life which we see Agnes at the bridge and hearing Agnes’ voice reciting the poem. So, I like the poem which reflects both her and Agnes’s life as if she is conversing with the victim.

This film will definitely touch your heart with poetry and reminder that grandparents, and even parents, are always be there with you. We all should be grateful for them giving us love and care. It makes me more interested in Korean poetry that I decided to look for them and read them. A poem does represent one person’s feelings and/or life. That’s why poets write down for these reasons. Also, we felt the sense of connection with the poets who has been going through hard times or happy times. This film is the same. You will feel how the elderly lady has gotten through the ups and downs while having the Alzheimer disease. It’s worth watching this film even though it breaks my heart and makes me smile while I look at the elderly lady’s facial expressions like her bright smile. It’s an emotional rollercoaster ride for me while watching this film.

Rating: 8/10

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