It’s time for the London Korean Film Festival again! Where the Korean Cultural Centre brings some of this year’s top Korean flicks to London’s Westend cinemas and this year will see Korean films being shown at Oxford, Bradford and St Andrew as well! The LKFF team has been teasing us with information and now the line up has been revealed over at the LKFF official website. It’s a very exciting line so far with a number of our top 2013 films in the mix such as Kim Soo-hyun’s Secretly, Greatly and Rough Play starring Lee Joon from MBLAQ.
The highlight of the festival is always the opening and closing ceremonies and this year is no different with the closing film being Boomerang Family with the Director and cast invited for a special Q&A session with the UK Audience. This has been described as a film about a dysfunctional family, but we think it’s a refreshingly different take on the modern family. Here’s our review and we’ve kept spoilers minimal!
Boomerang Family 고령화 가족 – Song Hae-sung (2013)
Starring: Park Hae-il, Yoon Je-moon, Gong Hyo-jin, Yoon Yeo-jeong, Jin Ji-hee
Boomerang Family is based on a 2010 novel by Cheon Myeong-kwan by the name Aging Family where three very “grown up” siblings move back in with their mother. Categorised as a comedy-drama, we watch as the siblings in their late 30s to 40s regress back to childish behaviours as they gang up against each other, fight and argue under their patient mother’s watch.
This is a star-studded film with the fabulous Yoon Yuh-jung as the adorable mother. Yoon Yuh-jung has been acting since the 1970s and will no doubt be instantly recognisable to many UK Korean film fans as she’s starred in a number of the KCCUK’s film screenings such as Housemaid (2010) , HaHaHa (2010), Hindsight (2011) and EJ Yong’s Actresses (2009) where she played herself. In this film we see Yoon as the mother to these three unruly siblings, she appears to be a reserved and hard-working lady, supporting her good for nothing oldest son. But she is a dotting mother, even in their 40s, she opens up her wallet to give her two sons bathhouse money. But being Yoon Yuh-jung, you know there’s another quirky dimension to this quiet mother character.
Starring as her promiscuous daughter is the equally fabulous Gong Hyo-jin who is forced to return to her family home with her daughter after her second failed marriage. Being the younger sister of two brothers, Gong’s character is strong and blunt whom can hold her own in the fight, verbal of physical. We first encountered Gong in Love Fiction where she bravely bared her hairy armpits on the big screen and Yoon, Gong and equally sassy Granddaughter aka amazing child actor Jin Ji-hee make up the strong female cast of Boomerang Family.
The film evolves around University graduate/unsuccessful film director In-mo played by Park Hae-il whom you may or may not recognise from the very popular Eungyo from last year’s LKFF festival as well as the beautiful My Mother the Mermaid. In-mo opts to move back home to the comfort of his mother after a failed marriage and career. With his sister also moving into the family home with a niece he barely knows, In-mo is forced to share a room with his shameless, lazy and good for nothing older brother Han-mo perfectly portrayed by Yoon Je-moon (from The Good, The Bad and The Weird).
The actors are amazing as a no holds barred family and the chemistry between them is mesmerising and what makes this film brilliantly entertaining. The sibling relationship is very believable between Park and Yoon as even through all the fighting and arguing, you see that underlying brotherly love. It’s always fun to see grown up adults partake in a bit of sibling fight and rivalry and with massive revelations such as life long family secrets and affairs, who doesn’t love a bit of family dirty laundry being laundered. But this is far more intelligent than your typical episode of Eastenders.
Even though they have been described as a dysfunctional family, we think this film has a lot to say about family life and what it truly means to be a family. We watch the family fight and yell but the moment any of them are in trouble, the rest of the family will instantly jump to help. One minute In-mo is calling his sister a bitch but the second someone else insults her, he instantly jumps to his precious sister’s aid. And even though the uncles don’t know their teenage niece and even goes as far as bullying her for a slice of pizza, they are ready to sacrifice life and limb for their niece, reflecting a love and understanding much deeper than that of your aesthetically perfect family.
Boomerang family is a good film made brilliant by an amazing cast with a beautiful message about family and no matter how much you fight, you can always rely on each other during times of need. We may have made this film sound rather fluffy and heart warming, but the second part of the film gets really hard hitting with gangs and violence far beyond that of your typical sibling fight making this film a all-round crowd pleaser. We have tried our best to avoid writing anything that will spoil the film, all we can say is we definitely recommend Boomerang family to all adults. Its key theme of family makes this film relate-able for everyone and the cast is truly charming and captivating. Along with the black comedy humour, this film is perfect for the UK audience. There is also an interesting reoccurring element in this film where everyone kept asking In-mo what he thinks, almost like they expect him as a film director to have all the answers to life, so who knows what kind of life lesson Director Song may be hoping to give us with his latest film!
Boomerang Family will be screened at Odeon West End on 15th November 2013 as the closing film of the London Korean Film Festival. This closing gala will include a very special visit from Yoon Yuh-jung, Park Hae-il and Yoon Je-moon as well as Director Song Hae-seong! So make sure you subscribe to the LKFF Facebook Page now to stay updated on ticket sales!