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Damn, why was this film sitting on my shelf for such a long time? I know, because I started watching it, and really hated the titular character, an over-protective mother of a rather dumb boy who gets entangled in some police shenanigans  They have an odd relationship to say the least, verging on the uncomfortable, sleeping together, allowing the bad cops to make all kinds of rude jokes about what else is happening in that household (and I can’t blame them). The boy gets too close to a girl after one night of drinking away his sorrows, and she ends up dead. Did he kill her? We don’t know, but we assume that he did not, and that he becomes part of a crime story that is way over his slightly dumb ahead. The mother goes at great lengths to protect him, she follows up and investigates, while the police are satisfied to have found the perfect murder suspect.

This is all in an early setting. What makes this Bong Joon-ho film more than one of the odd Korean cop flics is that it fluctuates between oddball comedy, with dumb cops and dumber suspects, the mother character who is dedicated to not give way, and the fabulous visuals of Bong and his DP Hong Kyung-pyo. When you have settled in comedic feeling, you will be thrown back with queasy scenes showing the desperation and solitude of the protagonists. When you think you have reached the point of hardball police procedural, you will get some slapstick thrown into your face. I remember that the same feeling of a director completely uninterested in categories and genres was what I loved about “The Host”. Is this Bong’s specialty? I am very motivated to check out his other movies now…

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