Reviewed by: sukting

June 18, 2011

Rating: three

How long
2 hours

How does a widow clear her son's name when he is suspected of murder? It is R21 due to its violence.

Story/Introduction on characters
A widow, Lee Hye-ja (Kim Hye-ja) lives with her only son, selling medicinal herbs in a small town. She is also doing unlawful acupuncture to the villagers. Her son Do-joon (Won Bin) is a shy, quiet, and slow.young man. His mother adores him but often scolds him for hanging out with Jin-tae (Jin Goo) , a jobless man.
A high school girl is discovered dead on a rooftop in town. This shocks the folks and they scold the incompetent police to find the killer. Do-joon is near the scene of the crime. So the police arrests him and they are too lazy to look for other evidence. His defense attorney is unreliable and the police tricks Do-joon into signing a confession. This can cause him to be jailed for years. The police can't explain why and who will put the girl's dead body on the rooftop where all can see.
Do-joon's mother is horrified and unconvinced that Do-joon is the killer. She wants to seek the truth on her own. She gets the details of the murder and the background of the victim to try and prove her son's innocence. She walks around the town and uncovers details of the girl's life. This girl has a bad reputation all along.
Jin-tae helps her as he is sympathetic towards her plight. All the folks are sick of her shouting that Do-joon is innocent and her stalking. They believe that he has committed the crime. Soon, her search for the real murderer brings her to an old man at his junkyard.
The old man hints that Do-joon may have killed the girl. He has seen him there through a door hole. The mother is so angry that she kills the old man brutally with an iron on his head. She then burns down the junkyard along with his body. The police can't find a thing so they assume that the old man has burned the place in his sleep and a pillar falls on him.
Meanwhile, the police captures the real killer. The person is also of unsound mind. Do-joon is released from the jail. By then, the mother could not cope with all her guilt. Do-joon tells his mother that the reason why the killer may have left the girl's body on the rooftop is perhaps to allow the town's people to see her and bring some medical help.
He goes to the junkyard to play and finds a box that his mother leaves hastily. It is her box of acupuncture needles. His mother can't cope with this anymore and goes on holiday. She pricks herself with the needles on her thighs. Then she dances with the tourists around her, trying to forget everything.
Interesting facts

Kim Hye-ja won Best Performance by an actress for the film at the 2009 Asia Pacific Screen Awards. It won the awards for best film, best screenwriter, and best actress at the 4th Asian Film Awards. It won the award for Best Foreign Language Film at the Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards 2010.


You will never recognize Won Bin here. He looks nerdy and unattractive. There is also a loss of focus in his eyes. He has done his part well as the slow man. But the person who stands out is definitely Kim Hye-ja. You will be scared by her persistence. She turns up at the police station daily to pester the cops. She also breaks into the girl's home to find evidence. She also turns up at the girl's wake but is chased away instead. Still, she doesn't give up. This shows the love of a mother.

However, the love may be too strong till she commits the mistake. Her son is no longer a killer but she is a murderer. She can't be herself anymore as the innocent party as she hides the facts from the police now. She can't even face her own son and has to escape. It is unknown to all about her final fate but all can guess that she will be unhappy all her life. What a turn of events! Mother also sounds like murder in Korean.

Sukting's ratings :

On acting : *** (Scale of 5)

On story : *** (Scale of 5)

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