TIFF Review: Three Movies About Souls Lost and Found
Author : Kevin Klawitter
Authorship : AWARDSDAILY
Date : 2019-09-24

TIFF Review: Three Movies About Souls Lost and Found

by Kevin Klawitter  September 8, 2019


Bring Me Home


In the introduction to this movie, director Kim Seung-woo pointed out that this film doesn’t open in his native Korea for several months, and as such requested revelations of plot be kept to a minimum. I’m going to do my best to abide by the director’s wishes, suffice to say that Bring Me Home is an excellent debut, showing inventiveness in storytelling, strong development of characters, and a willingness to take the story in directions the audience does not expect.  Bring Me Home is a captivating, at times brutal thriller about the lengths a mother will go to to find and protect her child.


The movie stars Lee Young-ae (in her first film appearance since Park Chan-wook’s Lady Vengeance) as Jung-yeon, an ER nurse whose son disappears and remains missing for years while she and her husband try to find him.  The trauma of losing a child, compounded by other accidents and abuses that occur over the course of the movie seem to be turning Jung-yeon into a shell of a human, and yet she still maintains hope that she will be able to find her son.  She knows it’s possible because a friend of hers was kidnapped as a youth but still managed to make hit home where as an adult he tries to reunite missing children with their families (although way his own story goes… well, you’ll have to watch the movie itself to find out).  Knowing that the survival and return of her child is a possibility, Jung-yeon will fight against corruption, criminality, inclement weather, and even what seems to be fate itself to reunite with her son, because that’s what mothers do.


The complicated and disturbing story is made comprehensible with a first-rate cast, all of whom make their characters instantly recognizable and distinctive.  We jump from one group of characters to another, not always knowing exactly what’s going on, but by the end we know exactly what the stakes are and where the morality lies.  Kim Seung-woo has made something very special here, and I welcome his new voice on the international stage.


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