Boomerang Family / 고령화가족 / Goryeonghwa Gajok (2013)
Director: Song Hae-sung ; Screenplay: Kim Hae-gon, Kim Jae-hwan, Song Hae-sung, Cheon Myung-gwan
Cast: Park Hae-il, Yoon Je-moon, Kong Hyo-jin, Youn Yuh-jung, Jin Ji-hee
This movie is more a drama than a comedy with some gangsters thrown in for good measure. There are some laughs and lots of swearing but I’d say most of the movie is about the consequences of dysfunctional family dynamics that lead to a serious situation. Two adult sons and an adult daughter along with her own daughter come back to live with their mom after various failures in their lives. They waste no time getting into fights and arguments as if they were children but stick together against others who would hurt any one of them. The actors do a great job of portraying the love-hate dynamics. It’s all the more heartfelt and poignant when you discover the sacrifice that a sibling has made for another that isn’t apparent with all their fighting and arguing.
There isn’t really a main story line but there is a crisis that does lead to a satisfying ending that plays around with expectations. My only criticism would be the revelation of an unheard of character whom serves as a convenient plot device to help the mother buy meat (this will make sense if you watch the film). Inevitably, we know the adult children have to move out and keep going on with their lives no matter what hardships arise. In that respect, the movie does offer some universal life lessons about the importance of family and swallowing one’s pride in order to take a lesser job in difficult times.
I enjoyed the movie, I was hoping for more of a comedy but the family dynamics were well portrayed and the serious parts were well done. All the siblings have the strong and weak points but manage to stick together. This definitely was a movie that was not predictable and also offered some real life lessons.