Drama

Minari movie review | [the Culture crash]

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Minari movie review

Storyline

Yearning to own a small patch of land and be more than a chicken breeder, the ambitious paterfamilias, Jacob Yi; relocates his Korean-American family: skeptical wife, Monica, and their children, David and Anne. From California to 1980s rural Arkansas, to start afresh and capture the elusive American Dream. However, new beginnings are always challenging, and finding out what is best for the family; let alone start a 50-acre farm to grow and sell Korean fruits and vegetables, is easier said than done. But, amid sincere promises, cultural unease, fleeting hopes, and the ever-present threat of financial disaster; Jacob is convinced that he has found their own slice of Eden in the rich, dark soil of Arkansas. Can grandma Soonja’s humble help the Yi family figure out their place in the world?

Credit to IMDb

Quick States

  • Rating: 7.5
  • Genres: Drama
  • Stars: Steven Yeun, Yeri Han, Yuh-Jung Youn
  • Director: Lee Isaac Chung
  • Writers: Lee Isaac Chung
  • Certificate: PG-13
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English, Korean
  • Release Date: 2021
  • AKA: Minari
  • Runtime: 115 min
  • Filming Location: Oklahoma, USA

Minari shows us the American dream, which is only in our imagination; and which is only hidden by facing the harsh reality that is destroying the dream and leaving only the rest.

Minari movie review

Minari movie review

The movie Minari by Lee Isaac Chung, a film about a family that abandons their South Korean homeland searching for a wider life in America, a land of dreams and freedoms, faces economic and personal difficulties. The couple differs in the way they manage crises and daily problems. We see the film from the point of view of a child of seven who has a weak heart, but everything ends well. The major problems of life seem like difficulties that can be overcome with compassion and love if we see them with the eyes of a child. The film has received positive reactions from critics around the world and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language film. Six Oscar awards, including Best Film Award.

When you see Minari Senatbek feeling that these are the memories of one of them, the film does not have a fragmented narrative or a dream picture, but it focuses on sensory details related to memory imaging, the sun mirroring on water, the sound of walking in huge grassland, the test of seeing your parents fighting for the first time and your adventures with grandmother, the film is not experimental like the life tree of Terrence Malick or the mirror of Tarkovsky, who is involved in childhood education He uses the logic of memories to make a traditional story with familiar, perhaps more predictable, heartbeat, but what distinguishes him from other films that dealt with the same subjects and time period is his avoidance of the imposition of a strict or inflexible national ideology, but rather his recollection of what he remembers to the world and his freedom of interpretation.

Minari movie Cast

Minari recounts the story of the Korean-American Ye family; starting with their departure from California to settle on a farm in Arkansas. The family is made up of husband Jacob, played by Steven Yeun, with precision and calm, and wife Monica (Yeri Han), and their sons Ann and David. David is the younger son (Alan Kim); opens the film by looking out the window of the car that takes the family to its new home.

This is based on the narrative viewpoint of the film, as well as being a story about immigration; emigration, coping and belonging. It is a compilation of memories of a child who recalls his impressions of his family life and the land he inhabited and the disturbance of his cultural and personal identity.

Lee Isaac Chung builds his own film of his 1980s family’s transition to Arkansas, US. The film adopts David’s point of view in most of its events; and even when the narrative moves away, it’s still what happens. Making a movie about migrant suffering in a strange, more paltry land than telling individual social, political, or suffering. From the narrative point of view, he tries to wear every personality he writes.

He is the child who experiences the main events; The husband who is facing problems in his marital relationship and physical condition. He also adopts the new husband’s friendships. As if he is living with several generations of immigrants; he is the same as the old one when he was a child and then when he became a father with children.

David is born like Chang in America, so his main problem isn’t about coping and breaking out of the land and culture of her habituation. It’s all he knows. The stranger is the one who comes from his roots.

Minari movie trailer

Credit to A24 youtube channel

David’s life changes when his mother-in-law, Sun Jong, comes to live with the family. Jung plays the role of the strange; daring grandmother with a lighter shadow of influence and performs more than the year’s best performers. If the film is a journey of maturity for that child, the key factor is his connection with the grandmother, who represents all that he’s foreign about, and because of her becomes more sympathetic, understanding, and open to the premise of multiculturalism.

Minari is the name of a plant that can grow where it’s planted, and Lee Isaac Chung uses it as a direct but touching metaphor, the Yi family trying to grow wherever it is found, and burdened by the multiple movements both from Korea. Primarily, and even within the US territories after they become citizens, but Chang does not make a film about cultural differences between Korea and America, although there are some comedy-purpose dialogs between David and his grandmother that do not frame the film as another cliche attempt to create a comedy of difference, is simply a film about coping, about a plant that is using its land to grow back into a new land.

We recommend for you the Korean movie “The call”

These differences are mainly centered on the cultural control of the American media over the world. and that centralization reduces David’s conviction of his grandmother (Yuh-Jung Youn) as a real grandmother.

However,

It’s not enough for the stereotypical mental image that she has of grandmothers, she’s not like those in the movies and children’s programs that he consumes, she’s not self-expected to spin Sufi treasures and not make “cookies” or tell stories, she’s an old, authoritative woman who knows how to enjoy her time, and smells like “Korea.”

The new film itself also comes out of the well-established idea that adults adhere to their national identity obliquely. It does not really lack its ground, but it does not reduce the culture of the young, but rather embraces what it sees as new, such as American soft drinks.

This dynamic creates a narrative counter to the narrative of the conflict between the usual generations in the films on migration or dual identity. The film does not conclude that Eastern authenticity is the best or that Western modernity is more appropriate.

Minari movie rating

minari grandma and son

It implies the dominance of culture over another without noise and greatness but rather as a reality. This point, however, is not just an immigrant family that seeks identity or roots, but rather. it is citizens with dual American names, faces, and history The eastern roots are costed in the west.

Despite their attempts to be integrated and fully affiliated, those around them treat them as foreign from time to time, even as a courtesy. In one scene, the family goes to a Sunday mass because the wife Monica feels lonely and alienated. American women treat her as “nice” because of her tender features and her polite body language.

This alienation extends to a scientist outside the film. Minari is an American movie that tells a big story of the Asian generation It was produced by an American company, but when awards committees like Golden Globe turned it into the category of the other, “Best Foreign Language Film.”

From the start of the film, tensions have been building between Jacob and his wife, Monica. They both have a different system of thinking about what a family’s life should be like, clashing with words; talking, and disagreeing about the validity of their decision to move. Sometimes the discussion turns into a heated argument, preoccupied with the health of David; the younger member of the family, who was born with a hole in his heart.

The film puts that fact as a potential threat from the start. His mother warns him against running and overworking. She advises him to pray that God will see Paradise, so death becomes a major part of the boy’s existence. But later the family informed that the hole has beg while the time that Jacob; and Monica’s relationship started to rot.

Minari movie rating: 7.5

In Conclusion

minari, house on fire

To sum up, Jacob is trying to make his dream farm a vast piece of land that he wants to fill with fresh fruit; make a living for his family. He has a definite theory that if all these Korean immigrants are around them in America, why not dedicate his agriculture to the fruits they miss from home?! He faces multiple difficulties from lack of water to lack of manpower and capital.

Jacob is helped by an American man who has strange religious and spiritual tendencies but who has a pure soul. He treats Jacob like a brother and hides him when he is startled. In a story like this, a hurtful racist may be expected to fall into the family path. But quite the opposite, outside help comes from someone who is almost divine to help.

In the last third of the film, the atmosphere that changes between tenderness and tension turns into a bleak escalation that threatens the lives of family members, their source of income, and even their place of residence. However, it strengthens this great loss of ties between them, which brings them together and eliminates their differences, allowing David to mature and overcome his fears to save those who love, Jacob and Monica, to reassess their relationship and absorb the amount of love that lies behind their faces and different opinions.

Minari is a film that combines the public and the private in a self-made but universal story, the story of its writer and director, but also becomes a story about everyone. Individuals face difficulties that look eternal and unresolvable, but in the end, the hole fills, the fault minimizes, the fire extinguishes, and everyone prepares for a new beginning to grow, wherever life takes them.

Ayoub
Writer and film critic for Filmiland website, movies enthusiast. "Everything I know I know from movies!"

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