My Son [아들]

Cha Seung-Won, Ryu Deok-Hwan, Kim Ji-Young(a), Lee Sang-Hun
Directed by:
Jang Jin
Written by:
Jang Jin
South Korea
103 mins


Lee Gang Sik (Cha Seung Won) is serving a life sentence for murder. For the last 15 years, he has been on his best behavior, and now his wish has finally come true. Gang Sik has been granted a one-day leave to visit his family, and as the day draws closer and closer, he is overcome with both excitement and nervousness. There is so much he wants to say to his teenaged son (Ryu Deok Hwan), whom he hasn’t seen since incarceration, but the feeling isn’t exactly reciprocated. Forced to grow up at an early age, his son has had a tough life, taking care of his troubled mother on his own, and in his eyes, he sees not a father, but a stranger, a criminal. How can Gang Sik make up for 15 years with just one day’s time?



A bit touching, but lacking in substance.
Despite the premesis of the movie, and the fact it’s pretty hard to sympathize with a convicted murderer, somehow they manage to sway you. You DO feel sorry for the poor guy, that’s obviously changed his ways…The movie borrows from independent film styles by using hand held camera shots and curt, short dialogs with long silent pauses in between, as well as heavy narrative. There were plenty of holes in the storyline however, and some mild attempts at humor that fell pretty flat — what was up with the ducks scene anyways??
Adding the twist at the end was something interesting, i applaud them for trying to shake things up but unfortunately it really didn’t do much to add any additional meaning to the film, it seemed sort of “tacked on” as if the film maker suddenly had a “Eureka” moment to make this film “daring”. Sadly, it only made it feel disjointed and pieced together. This is nothing to shadow the performance of Cha Seung-won who did a good job of playing a mournful, convict that only wants to see his son one more time.

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