Minari – Review

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Minari film is predicted to be the successor of Parasite (2019) at the Oscars 2021. How can I not? This South Korean director’s film received six Oscar nominations, including “Best Pictures” and “Best Director” for Lee Isaac Chung. In fact, previously this film has won more than 100 award trophies and more than 200 nominations for international film festivals.

Synopsis of the Minari film about the Yi family from South Korea who pursues their dreams in America. They try to survive on their own terms even though they often fail. The head of the family, Jacob Yi (Steven Yeun) is optimistic and ambitious to make his family proud by wishing him success in living in a remote village of Arkansas.

Meanwhile, his wife, Monica (Yeri Han), is skeptical about the dream of living in a foreign country. However, she still tries to encourage and help her husband to meet the needs of her two children: David (Alan S. Kim) and Anne (Noel Cho), as well as her mother (Yuh-jung Youn). Top Movie Site

For information, Minari comes from the name of an Asian plant whose leaves are similar to parsley with a slightly spicy taste. Minari is known as a hardy plant and its ability to grow anywhere. The question is, will the same be proven to happen to the Yi family?

The film appears from the perspective of the Yi family: Jacob Yi (Steven Yeun), Monica (Yeri Han), Anne (Noel Cho), and David (Alan S. Kim). Set in the 1980s, they are immigrants from South Korea who have difficulty adapting to life in America. They are still foreign and they don’t really feel part of the country yet.

When he just came to the “faraway land,” Jacob planned to go gardening. With his knowledge in Korean soil, he had to find a water source which turned out to be difficult in this foreign land. On the other hand, Monica is surprised to have to live in a “mobile home” that is far from attractive in a remote area. 7-year-old David is suffering from heart disease, and his older sister, Anne, is stuck with the burden of being the oldest child.

Farming proved difficult for Jacob. Then, Monica, who feels lonely, brings her mother from Korea. Played by Yuh-jung Youn, this cheerful grandmother is here to break the ice, especially her relationship with her grandson, David, who is both naughty and brave.

The portrait of immigrants wishing to succeed in America is clearly shown here from the start by Jacob. Apart from working on the land in their yard, he and Monica also work in the sexing section of the chicken farm, which sorts chicks by sex. Movie Review

Of all his efforts, he just wanted to achieve the American Dream, making a fortune in Uncle Sam’s country on his own. Monica also owns the American Dream. The difference is, he is more realistic than Jacob. She just wanted a better future for her children: Anne got a good education and David recovered from heart disease.

The conflict in this film is internal to the Yi family. The debate on the reason that the savings money ran out while chasing dreams in overseas lands, can relate in the real world. Not to mention the added child who is seriously ill, grandmother who has difficulty adapting, different treatment from local residents, and so on.

The story is linear and continues to evolve makes this film look simple. The conflict that occurred was not a cross genre like Parasite (2019). But domestic conflicts and disagreements that remain layered to bind the audience. Even if we look deeper, Minari also highlighted the problems of assimilation, racism and stereotypes.

Admittedly, the issues in this film can be material for in-depth discussion. For those who haven’t watched the film, of course Minari sounds like a melodramatic family film. In fact, far from it. The drama and comedy are just right.

It could be that you may even cry in tears as a result of delving too much into the story of the Yi family with the beautiful tunes of Emile Mosseri. Yep, so good, Mosseri was also nominated for an Oscar in 2021 for “Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Score)”.

Minari appears as a semi-autobiographical film by Lee Isaac Chung that is full of humor, humanity and hope. Chung not only wrote love letters for his family, but also for us.

Minari is included in the Top 250 Narrative Feature Films in Letterboxd. This bilingual film is the second Korean language film to be nominated for “Best Picture” at the Academy Awards, after Parasite which also won the award one year earlier.

Various achievements. The director was nominated for an Oscar for “Best Director”. Together with Chloé Zhao for Nomadland (2020), the two marked the first time that two directors of East Asian descent were nominated in one category in the same year.

Even so, Minari also stumbled over controversy, especially for the United States public. A number of protests were received by the production team when they won the “Best Foreign Language Film” award at the 2021 Golden Globes event.

As reported by Vulture, the decision to place Minari in the Foreign Language category caused problems. The reason is, Minari is an American film: Produced in America (A24), directed by an American director (Korean descent) and most of the cast is American (Korean descent). Best Movie

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (FPA) previously listed the film in the category of “Best Foreign Language Film”, not “Best Dramatic Film”. The reason is because more than 50 percent of Minari films are in Korean.

The public considered this decision to be incorrect. However, according to the HFPA classification, a film that is more than 50 percent in a language other than English, does not qualify for entry into the “Best Drama Film” category.

Apart from Minari, Parasite also took home the same award at the Golden Globes event. This makes it the first Korean film in history to win the award. Meanwhile, Minari, as the successor of Parasite at the Golden Globes, has actually created problems.

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