Film

Watched Broker

A film about baby trafficking

Created on
Day
32/100
Reading Time
3 mins
Word Count
630 approx.

Asian films have their magic when it comes to the subject of mundane life, family, parenting, and love. The emotional impact it creates hits differently than movies from the West. The ways they tell a story are like digging deep into your soul. And they digged hard.

Broker 브로커 is a South Korean film written and directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda 是枝(コレエダ) 裕和(ヒロカズ), a Japanese director. I remember the previous one from the same director was Shoplifters (2018). It has been a while since I watched any Asian films in the cinema. To be precise, it was Parasite (2019) from three years ago. Most of Asian films don’t have great looking CGI or big budget production. I watch them just for the narratives and characters. It’ll trigger your emotions or find it relatable to you in some way, guaranteed.

The story begins with a young woman So-young 素英 putting her baby in a “baby locker”—a drop off box for babies. Turns out, a guy Sang-hyeon 相鉉 who runs a laundry shop and a church worker Dong-soo 東秀 stole the baby. They’re planning to resell the baby for adoption on black market. Literally, baby trafficking. The next day, So-young wants her child back and decided to go on a journey with them. The two not only after the money but also wants to ensure a better future for the baby. They start off to search for the right parents for Woo-sung 羽星.

The plot unfolds and soon becomes a “family trip” situation. Just like going on a road trip together. The movie captures South Korea from the perspective of a Japanese director. I think the story also tells so much more about Asian culture as a whole. They’re sharing the same goal for Woo-sung and that makes them a “family”. The conflicts and the interaction between characters drew me in. I want to know what will happen to them. Each member of the team has their own stories going on. They all have their own battles to fight against. Even the detectives have some sort of storyline. For So-young, she’s struggling of being a mother. The film is about the journey of searching for the meaning of life—Why you’re born. Will there be answers? You’ll need to find out.

So-young, thank you for being born.

— Hae-jin, Broker

Some side notes, this film somehow managed to introduce you to Korean street food and snacks. As for the name “So Young”, I’m not sure if they did that intentionally. It could means a lot. I love the scenery especially where they’re at the orphanage. The soundtrack is a very nice touch as well. Also, I’m surprised that IU was in the film as I didn’t watch any trailers. I watch the film just because of Song Kang-ho and the director. The soccer kid did a great job too.

I like the story, it’s simple and refreshing. We all have our own agendas, don’t we? The film successfully delivered one of the lessons of a lifetime. I was not disappointed at all. If you’re tired of big-budget-heavy-action-CGI films, this might be a nice movie for you. Be prepared this is a very slow pace movie and you gotta be patient. The rewards in the end will be worth your while.

Every life is priceless. Being born is a gift.

See you next time.

My Afterthought

The film neither intends to lecture anyone nor wants to teach you anything, rather, it gives you a taste of the struggles of other people’s lives.

Watched in Cinema

Rating (Stars)
3.5/5
Verdict
Well Done
Director
Hirokazu Kore-eda 是枝(コレエダ) 裕和(ヒロカズ)
Starring
Song Kang-ho 宋康昊, Lee Ji-eun (IU) 李知恩, Gang Dong-won 姜棟元, Bae Doona 裵斗娜
Genres
Drama
Release Date
June 2022

This is #Day32 of #100DaysToOffload.

Footnotes

  1. I kind of regretting I missed Our Little Sister 海街 diary (2015) by Kore-eda san. It’s like a Japanese version of Little Women. ↩︎
  2. Asian films best watched in cinemas because it might be the only way to avoid getting distracted by stuff if you’re watching at home. ↩︎