‘Broker’ – belief in kindness – VnExpress


One rainy night, young mother So Young (Lee Ji Eun) placed her son Woo Sung in front of a “baby box” at the Busan family church and left.

* The article reveals the movie’s content

Trailer for the movie “Broker”. Video: CGV

Two brokers Sang Hyun (Song Kang Ho) and Dong Soo (Kang Dong Won) steal the baby, sell it to a new family to make money. The plan changed when So Young returned to the church to find her child, wanting to report the missing child to the police.

Afraid of being discovered, Sang Hyun and Dong Soo negotiate with So Young to find a home for the child with her. Meanwhile, policeman Soo Jin (Bae Doona) and her subordinate – Lee (Lee Joo Young) – monitor the actions of two brokers.

The work emphasizes benevolence and at the same time shows the filmmaker’s attitude towards the social reality. In Broker, the filmmaker gives each person their own story. By planting important details about the past, the characters can open up to each other. When the conflict is high, it is also the time when the past is revealed, along with secret and difficult things to say.

Typically, So Young and Dong Soo quarrel in the evening after the three decide to go on a trip to find new parents for Woo Sung. So Young put Woo Sung in front of the church with a letter promising to come back to pick him up. Years ago, Dong Soo’s mother also wrote a similar message, but she never returned. The detail is small but makes the audience sympathize with the fate of the character Dong Soo.

The second half of the film is a bonding moment of strangers. The bus also has a boy Hae Jin (Im Seung Soo) who loves soccer. On the way to find a future for the child, there was a time when the five of them were like a family. They arrange a timetable, take turns taking care of Woo Sung, trying to protect each other when they know the police are looking for them… Each person sets aside their egos to sacrifice, tolerates others, the details. This is subtly integrated when the film is about to come to an end.

Broker gives viewers a multi-dimensional view of the “baby box”. This is also the inspiration for Kore-eda, a director with a simple filmmaking style, specializing in exploiting the marginalized sections of society to create works. “When preparing for this film, I was listening to stories of children growing up in orphanages. Parents gave up raising children for many reasons,” he told SBS Dateline.

The rigid image of police officer Soo Jin alludes to the negative reaction of some people, when the “baby box” appeared in Korea. In real life, some argue that the box makes it easy for parents to deny responsibility for their children. With So Young, she left her child because she wanted him to have a good future. But police officer Soo Jin thinks that So Young is an irresponsible mother.

In the movie Broker, Sang Hyun (played by Song Kang Ho, left) and Dong Soo (Kang Dong Won) are two child brokers.  Photo: Zip Cinema

In the movie “Broker”, Sang Hyun (played by Song Kang Ho, left) and Dong Soo (Kang Dong Won) are two child brokers. Image: Zip Cinema

The scriptwriter skillfully creates contradictions, pushing the film up high so that viewers know why the two became “brokers”.. Sang Hyun is portrayed as a laundromat owner struggling with debt. Sang Hyun said his work comes from “kindness”, wanting to find new families for abandoned children. Accompanying the laundromat is his partner Dong Soo. He comes from an orphan background, works for a church that operates a “baby box”. At first, Sang Hyun just wanted the profits from these deals to earn money to pay off his debts. This is reflected in the way he examines the contours of Woo Sung’s body, edits the child’s photo to give a first impression to the adoptive parents…

In the past, Sang Hyun had an incomplete family. He once divorced his wife, his daughter followed her mother. Therefore, he always felt abandoned. Sang Hyun’s way of saving children and taking care of them is not just about earning extra income. Towards the end of the film, the audience clearly sees the nature of this man. Sang Hyun wants the children to receive full love from their parents, have a warm home instead of growing up in an orphanage. After learning about Woo Sung’s father, Sang Hyun changed his attitude towards So Young, who he always thought she wanted to sell her child for money.

Dong Soo grew up wondering about his mother who abandoned him. He is not trying to find the source, but to help orphans have a better life. When the bus went back to the place where he used to grow up with children in the same situation, Doong Soo was welcomed and loved by everyone.

'Broker' - Belief in benevolence

Director Kore-eda Hirokazu and the cast talk about “Broker”, which was nominated for the Palme d’Or at the 75th Cannes Film Festival. Video: CGV

The acting of the cast is quite uniform, giving the audience an overview of the character. Song Kang Ho incarnates seriously in the scene of taking care of a baby, from feeding milk to washing and holding. In important segments, Song Kang Ho fully demonstrates the character’s psychological transformation, from thinking only of personal interests to caring about the feelings of family and close people. Compared to previous breakout roles in Parasite (2019) or Memories of Murders (2003) resonated, Song Kang Ho’s role of Sang Hyun this time stopped at a full role.

Lee Ji Eun shows the image of a young mother through her carefree appearance and decisive words. She surprised with cold curses when someone insulted her son. Kang Dong Won’s facial expressions and eyes give viewers a sympathetic look at the character Dong Soo. The boy Im Seung Soo brings innocent laughter, dispels the mysterious atmosphere of the bus, and is the connection between the three adults. Seung Soo also impressed with the words “old before his age”.

Kore-eda Hirokazu specially honors the masterpiece Magnolia (1999) by Paul Thomas Anderson through song Wise Up by Aimee Mann. In the movie, Wise Up was broadcast over the radio on policewoman Soo Jin’s car on a rainy evening.

The work was nominated for the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, and won the Ecumenical Jury within the framework of the Film Festival, the award “honoring works of artistic quality and touching the depths of the soul”. Director Kore-eda is also the first Japanese to bring home the prestigious Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2018 with the film Shoplifters.

However, the film circuit has not really been groundbreaking. The story line about Woo Sung’s father’s own family is superfluous. Some viewers thought that the warm atmosphere of Broker blurred the grit in the Japanese director’s storytelling.

Song Kang Ho won the male lead award at Cannes in May this year.  Photo: AFP

Song Kang Ho won the male lead award at Cannes in May this year. Image: AFP

In early June, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and his wife went on a weekend date at a cinema in Seoul, they chose to watch Broker. Page’s writer Tim Grierson Screen International commented: “The film has the usual gentle style of Kore-eda. Broker has a suspenseful yet profound plot, a gloomy atmosphere, and the director’s message of the power of compassion remains undiminished.”

Que Chi

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