As every parent will tell you, having children is the biggest responsibility you’ll ever have. There are many of course, due to various circumstances, who just can’t handle that kind of responsibility, and make the decision to give that child up.
For Kore-eda Hirokazu’s latest, it features a sensitive story about a young woman who has to make probably the most difficult decision she’ll ever have to make, to give up her baby.
In the dark of night in Busan, a young woman, Moon-So young (Lee Ji-eun), drops off a baby at a church with a baby box on the outside. The idea is that those inside will take charge of the infant, and find it a good home. But that’s not quite how it works, not tonight, as the two guys on the other side of the box have a side hustle.
Ha Sang-hyeon (Song Kang-ho) and Dong-Soo (Gang Dong-won) have their own adoption scheme set-up of their own, but it comes at a price. So when this newborn arrives, they plan to sell it on. It may well be morally questionable, but it pays well.
Their actions haven’t gone unnoticed however, as there was a police car with two female officers inside, who are fully aware of this criminal operation, and have a plan to put an end to it. All the pair have to do is exchange the baby for cash, and they have them. But this transaction turns out to be more difficult than it would seem.
It’s starting to get a little crazy now with the deluge of talent that is coming out of South Korea, especially at the wide variety of stories we’re getting too. Hirokazu’s film is a real curiosity, taking quite a sensitive subject, and delving into fairly dark territory with a surprising amount of warmth and humour.
He also has the talent of taking some real reprobates and somehow make them rather loveable, when really they shouldn’t be.
It's a film that is brimming with some touching and tender performances, from all ages of the cast, that really help anchor the sensitive material, making it far more palatable than it might have turned out.
The script is also quite layered, as the story develops and we get a better appreciation for all of their actions, not only the young woman’s.
It’s also a fine example of the director further fine-tuning his craft with what is a sublime piece of filmmaking.