Bong Joon-ho’s brilliant and beguiling Mother
opens with the strange image of the elderly Kim Hye-ja -- the titular matriarch -- dancing, stone-faced, in a green field. Is she celebrating her power? Or is her dance mournful? It’s impossible to know. While it may seem a mere stylistic flourish at the start, by the magnificent coda of the film, the image, for all its seeming opacity, makes perfect sense.
On the surface, the elements of Mother seem familiar enough. In the hands of your average filmmaker, it’s a family melodrama/mystery about an irresponsible but good-natured mentally challenged young man, Do-joon (Won Bin of Tae Guk Gi: The B...