320) Mother (2009) Dir: Bong Joon-Ho Not Yet Released Date Seen: October 1, 2009 Rating: 3.5/5
I've never felt as cold about a Bong Joon-Ho film as I do about Mother. He remains one of the most shrewd pop draftsmen working today, proven by the myriad of wonderful sequences his latest feature boasts. But there's no spark of consistent feeling in it. After Barking Dogs Never Bite, Mother is Bong's most elaborate generic allegory about contemporary South Korean identity but here, he feels like he's reaching for an emotional resonance that came so effortlessly during that latter spazzfest. Mother's memorable final scene establishes how the "incident-induced" form of memory loss that both Bong and Lucrecia Martel use to critique bourgie norms has created a writhing mass of bodies with no clear direction of where it's going. And it's kind of awesome and it's kind of cool to look at--Bong effortlessly synthesizes a Speilbergian sense of awe with his own unique brand of black humor--but it's also pretty empty of satsifying emotional resonance.