Great actors don't necessarily make great directors and screenwriters. Kim Yoon Seok, however, proves to be just as adept behind the camera with his directorial debut Another Child
The award-winning actor takes a supporting role in the film as the feckless, mild-mannered Dae Won who brings trouble to two families. Though seemingly happily married to Young Joo (Yeom Jung Ah), he is carrying on an affair with Mi Hee (Kim So Jin), who is also the mother of his teenage daughter's classmate. His daughter Joo Ri (Kim Hye Jun) discovers the affair and confronts Yoon Ah (Park Se Jin) in school about their parents' infidelity. The cat is soon out of the bag, and it turns out Mi Hee is even pregnant with Dae Won's child.
From there on, Kim Yoon Seok takes a backseat when it comes to what's happening onscreen, as his character rather comically runs off to avoid confrontation. The story focuses on the women – both the mothers and the daughters – who buckle up and face the developing situation with reasonable anger and empathy. After starting out fighting, Joo Ri and Yoon Ah commiserate and bond over their shared confusion and concern for their sibling. Young Joo, as well, proves to be the adult in the room by offering support to Mi Hee when she is most in need.
Another Child could easily have gone a more melodramatic route with its soap-opera-worthy conflict. Instead, the story stays grounded in reality as the women navigate their messy emotions without devolving into emotional messes. An unlikely sisterhood forms between the two teens – and to an extent, even between the two mothers – as they deal with what's in front of them. Well acted, well written and well paced, the family drama rolls out the faults and fallouts of a marital and family crisis, but also recognizes the everyday humanity and essentially good heart of each flawed person in the equation. Another Child is an excellent start for Kim Yoon Seok the director.