|Mi-ja attends poetry class.|
The charisma and beautifully underplayed charm of the lead character make’s Poetry (2010) one of the best South Korean dramas of last year and certainly not one to be missed. Director and screenwriter Lee Chang-dong took a chance by casting 67-year-old veteran actress Yun Jeong-hee, who had not appeared in a movie for 15 years, as his main lead Yang Mi-ja a 66-year-old grandmother. It’s her endearing characterization and incredible present’s that makes this intelligent piece of film making so wonderful.
|Mi-ja's grandson hides a secret.|
The movie tells the story of a perfectly dressed widow in her 60’s who earns a modest living from attending to an old man, part paralysed from a stroke. Two things happen that rock her humble existence. On a routine visit to the local hospital she reports, in conversation, that her memory is not as good as it once was, she is consequently sent to the main hospital in Seoul for further tests where it transpires she has the early onset of Alzheimer’s. Receiving this rather staggering news she decides to register for a poetry class at the local Community Centre! When the body of a young female suicide victim is washed up its discovered that six boys in her class were responsible for her repeated rape, one of which is the grandson of Mi-ja. It was arranged with the dead girls parents that instead of them going to the police the guilty families would provide a monetary settlement, which would obviously have to include Mi-ja.
The film won Best Screenplay at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. If you enjoyed Bong Joon-ho’s Mother (2010) than you’re certainly going to love Poetry.