Saturday, 1 May 2021


Minari is a slow and gentle Lee Isaac Chung film from 2020 about a Korean family who head to the USA in the 70's. We pick up the story ten years on, in the 80's. They arrived in the 70's with grand ideas of a free and prosperous life but soon came down to earth when they work day and night sexing chickens.

Dad was not satisfied with this and so hatched(!) a plan to 'better' their situation by moving to the countryside, taking a loan to buy some land and start farming. Things didn't turn out as rosily as they thought though as they ended up with a Static Mobile Home 😎 and still work for someone else sexing chickens whilst he tries to build the farm.

They have two kids, one of which is sick with a heart condition and in order to help things financially they get grandma over from Korea to live with them. Tensions rise between the couple as things don't work out as planned and difficulties of their situation (along with various catastrophes) cause much bickering.

Slow and gentle it is until the finale when some stuff happens. It plods along whilst the main thing on offer is, to be fair, the interesting cultural observations surrounding the family and immigrant workers to the USA back in that era. There's mix of Korean and English as the kids are fluent in English, grandma not at all and mum and dad part/part. So there are subtitles of course when it is not spoken English.

The five leads play their parts incredibly well, Steven Yeun (Okja, I Origins) particularly as he displays the anxiety brought about by the situation and resolve to hold the family together against all the stuff going wrong! He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor. The two kids are terrific in their roles, especially the little boy and grandma too, the very experienced Yuh-Jung Youn.

I'd suggest you give it a look but don't expect car chases, torture scenes or Bruce Willis popping up with a gun! It's a very different Sunday afternoon film which I just noticed was produced by Brad Pitt. Not sure what that was about. He obviously believed in the project!

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