Minari film cast: Steven Yeun, Yari Han, Alan Kim, Noel Cho, Yun-Jung Yun
Minari Film Director: Lee Isak Chung
Minari movie rating: 4 stars
Families are unpredictable things, divided by invisible bonds, divided by unnatural changes. The worst of them cannot find each other’s way despite a lifetime under the same roof. The best of them can be drift, to stay apart for years only to fit seamlessly together. Bonds can leap over years, generations, continents and cultures.
Minari is the story of a family of Korean descent who came to America in the 1970s-80s in pursuit of the American dream. The husband and wife (Jacob, played by Han, by Monica Jacob) feel that they cannot agree about this dream, what its way is, and what to sacrifice and what to bear. Their children (daughter, Anne, played by Cho, and son, David, by Kim) – who are more comfortable speaking English and yet warm enough in their Korean skin – are torn between the two.
A reminder of exactly what comes from across the ocean, by way of Monika’s mother Tsunja (Yun). A widow of war, a single parent to a single child, she is long before the age of ‘adjustment’. Tsunja can’t cook, although she reaches across the ocean that her daughter misses the most in America (red pepper and anchovy), she swears, she loves playing cards and watching boxing matches, and she Advises: “Growing up hurt”. David declares that she is “not a real grandmother”, as her friends have.
Between Grandma and David, 7, sprouts a relationship that is Minari’s heart. In ways in which only grandparents and grandchildren come together, they see each other in things that parents have long been seeing. In this autobiographical story of writer-director Chung, Anne has disappointingly only one background, though David and his grandmother have enough love to accommodate everyone around him.
The film is set in the giant, Lonesome Arkansas, where Jacob has bought a farm that is haunted according to the local owner who happened to be with the old owner (not spelled). Barely surviving as a laborer living in California, who segregates girls according to gender, is located in a small house, Jacob apparently reclaiming the life he had left behind in an Arkansas farm. See the opportunity – under the open sky, growing Korean vegetables. Given the increasing number of Korean migrants, it also makes economic sense.
Monica becomes frustrated about what matters to her children, especially David, who has heart disease. Their house is just a long trailer, there is no community around, and Jacob only agrees to go to church – though they find neighbors who are completely welcome there.
If there’s a flaw in the minaret, it’s that it’s almost too fairytale in its settings, in its characters, which include a friendly neighborhood workmate whom Jacob likes, compared to the other side in his Oriental exotericism. In an unconscious gesture and the ease with which the Yi family takes over, he throws God and other creatures into his path.
However, an Asian family has its own perspective tracing its roots in rural America rather than in the setting of ordinary cities, its broad overview on the West and the ways of children (“who wears a little boy”), its specific rural and therefore universal problems. , And its insights depend on how families work on a day-to-day, regular basis – portrayed by a stellar cast – Minari is a difficult experience to forget.