*This section contains spoilers*
Being broadcasted since July 2023, The Good Bad Mother- a Korean TV show on Netflix - has gained a significant amount of love from people worldwide because of its intriguing plot and theme as well as the talented actors.
Usually, movies are an art of emotions, and motherhood is full of complex emotions. Maternal love can be as dark and haunting as Bong Joon Ho portrayed in "Mother" but also bright and emotional as "Under The Queen's Umbrella" brings. Continuing to be a work focusing on mothers and children, how does The Good Bad Mother still stand out and gain such undeniable success?
MODERN FAIRY TALE
“A happy child uses childhood to embrace life. The unfortunate child spends his whole life trying to heal his childhood." Exploiting the hidden memories and complexes between mother and child, but unlike previous works that often focus the lens on mothers, The Good Bad Mother is a direct shot exposing the dark corners of both the mom and the child.
There wasn't much attention before the movie aired and wasn't shown during prime time, but The Good Bad Mother quickly entered the Top 10 Netflix globally and continuously increased its rating with each episode.
The Good Bad Mother continues to use the formula that has made Korean films successful and famous- to exploit family emotions, develop characters with different personalities, and then push them into conflicting situations, bringing the story to a climax that brings tears to viewers.
The film opens with the happy love of a gentle farming woman, Young Soon, and a man who owns a pig farm, Hae Sik. When they were expecting the birth of their child, however, they kept being in a situation of being up a creek without a paddle. Hae Sik died cruelly because of the tycoon's power, the unjust law changed from white to black under the manipulation of money.
With extreme suffering, Young Soon had to move alone to Jou Hamlet to live, determined to raise her son to be a prosecutor so that he could hold his head high and live and help the weak in society. But under harsh, extreme parenting, Kang Ho's son grew up and fulfilled her wishes, but ironically, he became a cruel monster like those who pushed his father into him. He harbors immense hatred for his mother and is ready to coldly cut off the relationship.
Things began to turn around when Kang Ho had an accident, was seriously injured, paralyzed his legs, was unconscious for many months, and suddenly became as naive as a seven-year-old child. The film is a journey between a mother and son patching up the holes in each other's souls.
My Good Bad Mother carries the energy of an illusory fairy tale that shimmers in peaceful and beautiful scenes while also revealing the darkness in the real world. There, losing his memory and brain was a miracle from heaven, from then on Kang Ho was truly loved and Young Soon's mother realized the mistakes in her upbringing.
Thanks to the selection of details to broadcast, The Good Bad Mother has a neat and engaging film flow. It's not clear which event marked the first crack in the mother-son relationship, but we witness painful slices in the cold-blooded prosecutor's memory. Kang Ho was physically abused by his mother even though he was just trying to fight back when being bullied at school.
Even when tears were streaming down his face, he still had to sit at the table to continue doing his homework and was not allowed to eat a full meal or stay in a warm room because his mother believed that he could not study well if he were too comfortable. roof. Kang Ho has never once been allowed by his mother to go on a picnic with his friends and cannot be with Mi Joo - the girl he loves. During these films about the journey of maturity, viewers can easily feel the intense emotions waiting to explode.
The difficulties and hardships of the mother interwoven with the harsh scenes of the child, the mother's coldness stacked on top of the extreme frustrations of the child, and even the rare emotional moments of Young Soon and Kang Ho definitely will make your emotions go up and down like you're going on a roller coaster, so sad but also so beautiful. From there, the film makes viewers wonder which side to take because everyone has reasons for their actions and no one is perfect.
The core of the film is motherly love, but The Good Bad Mother also expresses views on society by exploring painful issues from corrupt officials to tycoons who ruthlessly harm people. These details have increased the drama of the emotionally heavy script. Besides, the love story between Mi Joo and Kang Ho also makes viewers raise many questions.
Are the twins his children? What happened that year when two people who loved each other so passionately had to fall apart like that?
Perfect in terms of content and structure, the images are also taken care of to achieve a level of aesthetics from color to camera angle, helping many scenes sometimes have no dialogue but do a very good job of telling the story. For example, the small room where Kang Ho lay recuperating during the first days back at Jou Hamlet went from dark and sad to the yellow color that crept through the window as he gradually recovered his health.
The film also brings green village scenes like a peaceful fairy tale dream. That's how the filmmaker The Good Bad Mother cherishes the visual and emotional experiences.
Now, Kang Ho uses his time of illness to heal with his mother, encounter Mi Joo again, and learn how to be a kind person. Is Kang Ho really an evil person or is he hiding something?
THE CHILD IS FLESH AND BLOOD, THE MOTHER IS BONE
Ironically, Young Soon built a Happy Farm with all her hope and love for her children, but Kang Ho has rarely been happy since the day he realized the purpose of his life that his mom had already set before he was even born. But does Young Soon deserve to be called a "bad mother" when she did everything at her will to let her son live a better life than hers?
Perhaps she was also aware that her actions were too harsh. If she could help her child be more successful, she did not hesitate to agree. Before Kang Ho left, she just tried to get her son to eat a meal and tried to put the bean cake he liked in his car.
We also witnessed Young Soon strongly taking care of her son during the days of coma after the accident. When Kang Ho is no longer the prosecutor she is proud of, she is also willing to accompany him in recovering his health, rediscovering memories of the old days, and rewriting his life with hatred and love.
Kang Ho expressed his dislike for his mother in the first episodes, but he used to consider his mother as his whole world when he was a child. His love for his mother in the film is only shown after he is trapped in a child's mind and these scenes, although innocent, are also heartbreakingly haunting. Therefore, many viewers hope that Kang Ho is not as bad as he has shown. If so, could he and his mother be more completely happy?
A mother loves her child with all her heart but acts as if she wants to destroy him; a child has only her mother as her sole support but becomes worse as a way of revenge. They love each other deeply but have not been able to understand each other for many long years.
ABUNDANT HEALING ENERGY
Valuable lessons are placed in the narrow story of mother and daughter, but in that narrowness and privacy, not only the viewer's experience but also their perspective is expanded. The Good Bad Mother is a vast picture of sacred motherhood, the joys - anger - love-hate in a person, and the problems of times. Although somewhat dark, you will definitely feel the abundant positive energy in the story.
The film is rich in messages but not dogmatic thanks to the way it uses the image of a lovely pig throughout the story as a metaphor for the philosophy of life that the film wants to convey. Falling is sometimes not a bad omen, but an opportunity to live better. Young Soon once told her child:
"BECAUSE THEY CANNOT RAISE THEIR HEADS, PIGS CAN ONLY SEE THE GROUND ALL THEIR LIVES. THE ONLY WAY FOR THEM TO SEE THE SKY IS WHEN THEY FALL OVER. WE HAVE TO STUMBLE TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO SEE A WORLD WE HAVE NEVER SEEN BEFORE. IT'S THE SAME WITH PIGS, IT'S THE SAME WITH HUMANS."
Her message is not only for Kang Ho and herself but also for lonely and unmotivated people out there.
My Good bad mother created fairy tales from everyday stories that way. Through a script with a clever combination of drama, psychology, and detective genres, the film promises to bring more surprises in the next episodes. Immersed in the journey of the characters, you will be motivated to live a better life.
Ultimately, the film brings the message that life always moves with both light and dark aspects; people always have imperfect opposites within themselves, accept those imperfections, overcome them, and go through them with joy.