to be the year for familial relationship movies.
Sons and fathers; mothers and daughters; now, The Way Home
brings us the story of a grandmother and her grandson.
Seven-year-old Sang-Woo (Yoo Seung-Ho) is left with Grandmother
(Kim Eul-Boon) in an unbelievably remote Korean village by his mother
who has to look for work in the city.
unhappy, selfish and disrespectful of Grandmother, who is a mute, bent
in half, living in an isolated village of only six buildings in the
mountains. She fends for
herself, but cares lovingly for Sang-Woo despite his cruelty.
Part of the story of this movie is its reality. Kim is the real
McCoy. Not only had she
never acted before, she had never seen a movie in her life!
She really lives in the house pictured in the film.
the language spoken in the movie is Korean, it might as well be viewed
as a silent movie because much of the film is visual, as Grandmother
canít speak. The movie
progresses and hurt upon hurt is hurled at Grandmother by the
self-centered Sang-Woo. She
never reacts but continues her life and cares for him as best she can.
The Way Home
is one of the most moving films Iíve ever seen.
Not in a million years would I have gone to see it had I not
been reviewing it. Much as I enjoy writing reviews, and itís rewarding, being
exposed to this marvelous example of movie making is an equally
wonderful reward. Written and directed by Lee Jeong-hyang, the story
is somewhat autobiographical as Lee was writing with her grandmother
that in this modern world people actually live like Grandmother is
mind-boggling. Just to be
exposed to that is worth seeing the film.
But youíll get much more out of The Way Home than just
viewing a foreign lifestyle. Tears
were streaming down my face as this one ended.
The Way Home is a compelling story that holds your interest
despite virtually no dialogue. If
you see it, you wonít soon forget it.