It is ultimately the portrayal of a dysfunctional family and a character study of Tom Stall (Viggo Mortensen). A History of Violence may not have a plausible plotline or ending, but it does have the vibe of a horror movie in every scene. The film also has a very scrappy feeling of an amature director during the shooting sequences, which it does not. Besides all the faults, A History of Violence did manage to conjure its subject to the highest degree and met the expectations. Maybe if it wasn't so scrappy and choppy, the film would've been better.
This beautifully directed little film conjured such a sensitive subject but does not afraid to tackle it. Poetry follows a grandmother, Mija, who is suffering from dementia, discovering a poetry-writing class that inspired her to view the world in a different way. Meanwhile, she found out that her grandson has taken part in a rape of a girl at his school that led to the girl's sucide. Throughout the film, you see that Mija, an incredible performance from Jeong-hie Yun, was using poetry to partly to all the worries away from her life. Yun is emotionally stunning as a guilt-full grandmother who loves her grandson and does not want to see him go to prison. The film raises political innuendos as to the 6 boys that raped the girl will not be convicted because the police does not want to investigate and the boys need to have their future. Poetry spent a lot of time reminiscing the beauty of the world around you and it was time well spent; it gives you a better sense about the story of guilt, responsibility, love, passion, and most of all sadness. Chang-dong Lee's careful and elegant direction really gave Yun a nuanced and observant portrayal of Mija. The film is a quiet centerpiece yet by the end it became one of the most haunting films of the year.
I was very disappointed when they brought out the emotional side of Harold and Kumar because I expected the film to be nothing but raunchy and fun. Sure, the emotional depth might have helped the film with critics, but this movie is not going to get submitted for an Oscar nomination so why bother? The film did offer a lot of raunchiness that I expected and laughs that are unexpected. Most of the time though we have Harold and Kumar sitting down and talking about a bunch of bullshit that no one really understood why it was in there. And there was a lot less weed in the picture. But between NPH's character (trust me, you need to see this,) the script written around the 3D, and the amazingly creative clay-mation, Harold and Kumar is a very fun, very energetic view of Christmas.