Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Long Visit (My Mom) (2010)

A Long Visit (My Mom)

The addition of phrase “My Mom” as an alternative title for this movie brings a clue about what kind of movie this is. “A Long Visit (My Mom)”, of course, is a family drama, or more thematically, a drama about mom. No, I know that it’s not Mother’s Day today but I was just kind of interested in what kind of emotion this drama will be specialized into (and maybe it’s also because I’m somewhat  interested in watching drama in recent days...), but at first, I realized that it will be another sob story. Oh, I knew it.

This South Korean movie indeed talked about a mom. Yet, the story didn’t center wholly around a mom’s life: it somehow began from a life of a girl named Ji-suk (played by Park Jin-hee) in a village in South Korea. From her view, the story of her mom (played firmly by Kim Hae-sook), whose name wasn’t revealed through the duration, began. The plot itself splitted into two parts: a flashback of the childhood and the pastlife of Ji-suk, told by herself; and a progressing plot which, nearly at the ending, slowly transformed into a third view. This span of life is what mainly discussed along the duration, although most of the duration took situation after Ji-suk married.

Yes, there’s no special, brand new surprise in the plot (except for a quite depressing twist at the ending), right? What makes it a little bit different was the character of Ji-suk’s mom. Kim Hae-sook played a simple, quite silly, humorous, yet heartwarming mom. I could see a strong characterization of Ji-suk’s mom that maybe some viewers would see as an exaggeration. It could be seen that Ji-suk’s mom was always proud of Ji-suk and loved her very much as sometimes she treated Ji-suk just like a kid. In the other hand, Ji-suk was a so-so girl. She loved her mom very much, too, but in some parts like when she was busy or in a bad mood, she did terrible things to her mom like hanging up the phone, yelling, and so on. But, a sudden visit after Ji-suk marriage might be her prove of love to her mom (and I thought that’s the meaning of the title “A Long Visit”: it’s the visit Ji-suk paid to her mom after a long time).

"Do you know what? The best thing I did in this world is having you." -- Ji-suk's Mom

You may have already known that this could be another tear-jerking film and yes, it is indeed. From the very beginning of “A Long Visit”, you’ll be presented some heartwarming yet sobbing scenes. I don’t know if all moms in the world, deep inside their hearts, are like Ji-suk’s mom, because I felt that she just went so cliche that sometimes I lost track how could this mom be this affectionate. But, yes, she was the center of all the emotional feeling. To be honest, I have to admit that I did cried in some parts. Just be ready for tissue papers!

The plot also contained many cliche parts. Ji-suk’s dad was described as an angry dad. He often did bad things to his wife and that was also supposed to be another depressing situations that could end up into another tear-jerker. But, the way Ji-suk’s mom responded to all her sufferings from her husband was somewhat unnatural. Really, it’s like you’re watching a soap opera on TV! Moreover, the scene when Ji-suk married was too sudden. Viewers didn’t get any clue about how they composed their relationship (we’ll just be presented a scene of Joon-so met Ji-suk), but suddenly, Joon-so invited her to a family meeting for their wedding. Ji-suk’s in-law were also suddenly vanished right after the family meeting scene. Well, it’s just my feeling, but it’s like these scenes are brought to us just to get more sobbing scenes or more cries around the viewers, not for the sake of the plot itself.

A Long Visit (My Mom)

However, you will find many similarities between the story of this movie and the story of yourselves. You may have your own reflection about how you treat your mom after watching this movie (well, you may find that, compared to Ji-suk’s mom, your mom was not that affectionate). You could also uncontrollably cry, as the dialogues went very dramatic. Moreover, I have to give applause for Kim Hae-sook for her deep portrayal of a very loving mother. She made “A Long Visit” a good film about a caring mom, regardless of some plot holes in it. Again, prepare some tissue papers!

 ACCEPTABLE 



DETAILS & CREDITS

A Long Visit (My Mom)
A LONG VISIT (MY MOM) | ORIGINAL TITLE Chinjeong Eomma COUNTRY South Korea YEAR 2010 MPAA n.a. GENRE Drama RUNTIME 107 min CAST Kim Hae-suk, Park Jin-hee, Jo Young-jin, Lee Mu-saeng, Jung Young-Ki WRITER Jang Hye-Sun, Ko Hye-Jeong, Yoo Sung-Yup DIRECTOR Yoo Sung-Yup AWARDS Open Cine Parade Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival BUDGET/GROSS n.a./n.a. IMDB RATING 7.0/10 METASCORE n.a. TOMATOMETER n.a. MORE INFO

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