Song Kang-ho has done plenty.
From Snowpiercer to Memories of Murder, through to the breakout success of 2019’s Parasite, you just know them! So when I saw them pop up in the trailer for Director Hirokazu Kore-eda‘s BROKER, I was in. Then I noticed K-pop superstar IU was also starring, so I was DOUBLY in. And the film I was preparing myself for was anything but in the best way.
Under the assumption it was about baby brokering, which it is, it becomes something else as the story develops. Kang-ho plays Ha Sang-hyeon, laundry owner. Church volunteer. Baby broker. Along with partner-in-crime, Dong-soo (Gang Dong-won), they use their position at the church to make this happen. Ha finds the parents, Dong-soo removes the surveillance footage and they make money.
And then a mother, Moon (IU), comes back for their child.
Brokering with the brokers the chance to give their child a better life, the unlikely group begin to travel across Korea as they search for the best deal and best parents. Filmed against the picturesque urban landscapes of Korea, BROKER is a heartwarming tale of family. To dwell on that further takes away from the experience. Like I said, the story is anything but the one you think it is. The cast are stunning, with a wonderful chemistry between them all. Especially between Gang and IU who become our classic K-drama ship. If you want what becomes an unsuspecting heartwarming romp on the roads of Korea, then BROKER may just be the film for you.
It's About Family
- Wholesome - 8/108/10
- Heartwarming - 8/108/10
- Starring IU - 9/109/10
- Boy, I Just Love Korea! - 10/1010/10
- I added this to make it an 8 cause the other numbers are accurate - 5/105/10
Finding heart in the darkest of intent
BROKER flips the story it implies to tell, with something a lot more wholesome. The gorgeous cast act brilliantly amongst the urbanized roads of Korea, delivering a heartwarming romp from start to finish. With high nominations and even higher praise, it may just see the film end up amongst the Best International films at next year's Oscars.