The opening film of Korean Film Festival 2013 (in Jakarta) is Boomerang Family (고령화가족). One of the actor of the film Park Hae-il also attend the festival as guest. The film is an adaptation from the novel called Aging Family (which is a literal translation of the film’s original hangul) by Cheon Myeong-kwan. The film follows the daily life of a dysfunctional family as the three siblings move back in with their elderly mother.
Oh In-mo is a failed director, his movie tanked, his marriage is falling apart, he have no reason to live, so he decided to end his life, until his mother’s call interrupt his suicide attempt and coax him to go home for the promise of warm meal. At home his unemployed, ex-con older brother Han-mo is already live there. Siblings fight ensues! But before the two can iron out their problem, their younger sister Mi-yeon arrives with her bratty teenage daughter, Min-kyung who inherits her potty mouth. Weirdly (for me), their loving mother seems content with her children and grandchild reunites once again under her roof. Despite all the upcoming conflicts, sibling rivalries, unorthodox family bonding, unexpressed affections between the members of the quirky, dysfunctional family.
With that setting, the film journeyed on to various subplots. From romantic courtships, marriage, rouge pachinko parlor, running away from home, even resorting to do porn. All become a source for comedic relief, but all these subplots have little to do with each other and made the overall structure of the story poor despite its feeble attempt to built a point. I partly like how the film conclude in the end, especially when it was tied to the opening scene which show we were deceived throughout the entire film, and still partially hate the people pleasing happy ending that i just find a little cliched.
Now, as i write about the film roughly 24 hour after i saw it, the fondest memories i have of the film is all the scenes where they’re having a meal together. Whether at home or after a picnic, the family found ways to reconcile their relationship as they share a hot meal together. It’s the way they bonded with each other, sometimes with warm sentiments, other times with snide comments and incessant squabbles. The ensamble cast bickering is a testament of the sufficient chemistry they shared. It is funny how from one point the brothers tried to kick their sister out and reunite with her ex, only to beat the living daylights out of him saying crap about their family. I guess in the end, nothing stays as strong as the bond shared between family.
The title itself, Boomerang Family refers to the boomerang generation, a western concept of young adults who move back home to co-habitate with their parents with various level of dependency. Similar theme featured in 2006 romantic comedy Failure to Launch withMatthew McConaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker. In Failure To Launch McConaughey parents’ hired SJP to lure their son out of the house to be a more independent and responsible adult. But here, the mother actually seems to love having her kids back. I keep waiting for the big emotional reveal behind her course of action, but i found none whatsoever. Throughout the movie i found my self frustrated at how limitlessly patient and compassionate the mother is despite her offsprings antics. Maybe the phrase ‘a mother’s love is eternal’ should provide enough answers to me.
BOOMERANG FAMILY 고령화가족 (2012)
GENRE Comedy, Drama, Adapted
DIRECTOR Song Hae-seong | PRODUCER Na Gyeong-chan, Kim Dong-hyun, Kim Hae-gon | WRITER Kim Hae-gon, Kim Jae-hwan, Song Hae-seong | MUSIC Lee Jae-jin | CINEMATOGRAPHER Hong Kyung-pyo | EDITOR Park Gok-ji | STUDIO Invent Stone Corp. | DISTRIBUTOR CJ Entertainment | COUNTRY South Korean | RUNNING TIME 112 minutes | RELEASE May 19, 2013
STARRING Park Hae-il, Yoon Je-moon, Gong Hyo-jin, Yoon Yeo-jeong, Jin Ji-hee, Ye Ji-woon, Kim Young-jae
The film is part of 2013 Korean Film Festival Screening. Click on the banner bellow to view my other thoughts on the film featured in the festival :)