We’re back with a new movie review, this time we’re taking a look at the Korean film ‘Broker’. This 2022 movie has an insane line-up and we were looking forward to this film like crazy. Let’s take a closer look!
‘Broker’ was written and directed by the Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda. He had previously created ‘Shoplifters’ which received a lot of critical acclaim and is currently still on my to-watch list.
This film is all about family relationships. Our main character is So-young portrayed by IU who leaves her baby in a babybox. A babybox is a sort of shelf where you can leave your newborn if you aren’t able to take care of it. This practice came by to decrease neglect and child murder and to support women who had no access to contraceptives or abortions.
In this case it is run by a Christian church where our next two characters volunteer. Sang-hyeon (Song Kang-ho) and Dong-soo (Gang Dong-won) volunteer at the church and sometimes steal the babies and sell them on the black market for families who want to adopt.
Sang-hyeon runs a laundrette with his mother while also finding families for the abandoned babies. Dong-soo was an orphan who was left himself and helps with this endeavor.
We follow them along with Hae-jin (Lim Seung-Soo) who overheard their plan to sell the baby and wants to join them. He’s an orphan and is afraid he’s becoming too old to adopt.
The other side of the story is the plot line of the police. Soo-Jin, portrayed by Bae Doona and detective Lee (Lee Joo-Young) follow the group. They have to wait until they see that they’re selling the baby in order to be able to arrest them.
There’s also a murder case that needs to be solved.
This is a gripping story of family and all its different shapes it can take. It also shows that sometimes the struggles we go through as children, leaves scars we can still feel as adults.
There was an interesting dynamic between Dong-soo and So-young because Dong-soo was abandoned as a child, while So-young is the one leaving her child behind. There was a beautiful discussion on forgiveness and it just was a very emotional moment.
I think the story had a lot of potential, but could have been worked out a bit more. There were certain aspects that I wanted to know more about. I would have liked to learn more about Sang-hyeon or the cops who were shadowing the group. What were their stories, why were they there? The two cops are such great actors and felt quite under-utilized.
What I did enjoy though, was the indie quality the movie has. Everything from editing to the camera angles felt very much outside of the realm of big blockbuster movie. I also thoroughly enjoyed the ‘found family’ trope. The traveling group had adventures together and even in the small moments you could see they genuinely cared about one another even though their time together was very brief. They had very wholesome moments.
Definitely watch the movie because the performances are stellar.
Watch the trailer for ‘Broker’ below.