A mother desperately searches for the killer that framed her son for a horrific murder in a small town as we desperately try to understand a mother’s universal motive.
Madeo (Mother) is a cleverly poised film with the opening shot of an elderly woman basking in the sun, slowly dancing to the tunes of relief. She seems to be totally liberated .We see why, as the film transcends its labyrinth narrative and provides clarity later on. The name of the dancing woman is never known . She is the over-protective mother of her only son Yoon-Do Joon who seems to be intellectually challenged ( slow in coherently remembering his memories and acting accordingly).
He is always under his mother’s watchful eyes across the street , while she cuts medicinal herbs and over her worrying mind ,while she sells accupuncture to her neighbours.
A casual hit and run on Yoon-do Joon, he and his close friend Jin-tae ( whom his mother despises by sight initially) and asks him not to hang around with, seek vigilante revenge. They find the owner’s car in a golf course , break the rear view mirror and mug them off their golf clubs and balls. Eventually they get arrested and later bailing out the same night, Do Joon gets drunk , wanders in the street and follows a girl with curiosity. The story dims there along with what the mother has chosen to believe, the audience ,too, have to choose to believe.
The following day , the girl is found dead ,horrifyingly exposed on a house terrace. With obvious links leading to convince the incompetent detectives in-charge, Yoon- do joon is too easy and a comfortable candidate to be framed as the killer. But his mother refuses to accept the accusation. She purely doesn’t believe it , she won’t believe it even if it is true. She desperatley tries to find the killer. Takes the investigation into her eyes and constructs the crime scene.
The notion behind the film is deceptively communicated along with a slowly churning thriller for Joon-ho Bong (the director of Memories of Murder and The Host) wishes not to conclude anything allthough you clearly understand what has happened or maybe you seem to understand a mother, for they say that truth comes from a cold place and emotions lie from a warm heart. It is not justice that has to be quenched. It is the sea of motherhood that has to be drank to understand a film of such perplexing and preposterous vista.
The construction of the film had won the talk , when it was premiered last year for it clearly had a niche with what it came. The film has some scenes which almost qualifies itself to be a mystery , but uncannily puts you in trance for a totally different mind-map in the last second. Reminiscent fromMemories of a Murder, the director’s earlier venture.
A mother is both protective and selfish and as you watch the extent she could go to keep her son from getting hurt/ or herself from getting hurt, you might think she is just plain mad.
A must watch for Hye-ja Kim‘s (a highly respected Korean actress )performance as a pallid mother, putting things into your heart.
What you call those things? Yeah, soul.