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Bring Me Home (2DVD) (Korea Version)
Lee Young Ae (Actor) | Park Hae Joon (Actor) | Lee Won Geun (Actor) | Heo Dong Won (Actor)
Bring Me Home (2DVD) (Korea Version)
This professional review refers to Bring Me Home (2DVD) (Korea Version)

In her 12-year acting career from 1993 to 2005, Lee Young Ae had only appeared in five films (not counting her cameo in First Kiss). However, the films that she chose – including Hur Jin Ho's One Fine Spring Day as well as Park Chan Wook's Joint Security Area and Lady Vengeance – and her mega-hit TV series Jewel in the Palace left such an impression on viewers at home and abroad that she remained one of the most memorable faces of the Korean Wave.

After making her long-awaited acting comeback in 2017 with TV series Saimdang, Memoir of Colors, Lee finally makes her sixth film with Bring Me Home, the directorial debut of writer-director Kim Seung Woo. The film's main promotional poster shows Lee wiping tears from her face. Her eyes, burning with fury, glare into the camera in a show of resilience.

The film's early scenes suggest that the film is a Lee Chang Dong-esque cinema verité drama. For six years, Jung Yeon (Lee) and her husband have been searching tirelessly for their missing son. Her husband drives around the country to chase fruitless clues and often visits an organization for missing children to help other parents. However, that expectation of cinema verité literally comes crashing down when he is killed in a brutal car accident.

From here, the film begins to reveal its true form, a bleak kidnapping thriller reminiscent of Jang Cheol Soo's acclaimed revenge thriller Bedevilled. At a quiet coastal village, two young boys slave away for a family that runs a fishing business for tourists. One day, a young police officer notices that one of them resembles the boy on Jung Yeon's missing child poster. Sergeant Hong (Yoo Jae Myung), who shares an unusually close relationship with the family, simply brushes off the suspicion.

Nevertheless, the clue somehow makes its way to Jung Yeon, who decides to travel to the village despite all the wild goose chases she's been through over the years. The more she tries to see the boy, the harder the family works to hide him and get rid of her. It's no surprise that the confrontation soon turns very violent.

Fans expecting a classy drama like Lee's previous TV dramas will be in for a rude awakening with Bring Me Home. This is a gritty and harsh thriller featuring scenes of young children being beaten and physically abused. Those scenes can be difficult to watch, but they also effectively convey the maliciousness and heinousness that Jung Yeon is going up against.

Lee deserves credit for taking on such a physically difficult role after a 14-year absence from film. In her desperate pursuit of her long-lost son, Jung Yeon takes on a gauntlet of abuse at the hands of the villains in the second half of the film. Lee's dignified resilience, even when she is covered in bruises and cuts by the end, keeps the film from descending into an exploitative misery fest. Thanks to the iconic actress, Bring Me Home makes this harrowing film a compelling emotional journey about the strength of a mother's unwavering love. I think she has earned herself a relaxing romantic comedy now.

by Kevin Ma

Other Versions of "Bring Me Home (2DVD) (Korea Version)"

  • Region & Language: Hong Kong United States - English
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