Year Released: 2022
Runtime: 2h 9m
Director(s): Hirokazu Kore-eda
Writer(s): Hirokazu Kore-eda
Cast: Song Kang-ho, Dong-soo, Bae Doona, Ji-eun Lee, Lee Joo-young, Kang Gil-woo
Where To Watch: Available in select theaters now, check your local showtimes.
RAVING REVIEW: One of the most intriguing aspects of this film is how raw it is, these characters live on the screen, but you feel like they’re right next to you simultaneously. The emotion on display allows you to see they’re human without mocking them for their existence.
The film takes the story you think you’re going to hear and flips it on its head. The story of “family” and how that takes place within the ideals of the black market is genuinely a story that I never knew I needed to hear. I don’t have nearly the history of watching films by director Hirokazu Koreeda but I probably should. After this incredible experience and the 2018 film SHOPLIFTERS, the bar has been set incredibly high.
It’s telling when your emotions are a little all over the place; while you know the core of what is happening is “wrong,” you can’t help but root for the “bad guys” to some extent because of the ultimate endgame. The film’s runtime is maybe a little longer than it should be, but as a whole, it works in its favor, really digging into the characters that come together on this “road-trip” style film. The moral grey area the film tackles is probably one of its most vital attributes.
While billed as a drama, we see some lighter moments that bring this ensemble cast together. The topics here are sometimes hard to listen to, but they’re vitally important. They mirror questions that we should be asking each other, especially with the constant political divide in the U.S. on healthcare, abortion, and more.
What some see as a negative, I take as a positive, the open-ended ideas throughout the film intentionally leave the audience the tools to figure out the story and answer some of the most complex questions themselves.
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[photo courtesy of NEON RATED]