It takes it time but its not slow .it implies rather than it shows and when it shows it is as meaningful as the emotions and the dialogues it conveys .Poetry is Beautiful and its music is felt though you never or almost hear one.You can't make a more poignant and absorbing tale where two loneliness meet each other in the most heartbreaking poem.The Agnes song poem at the end is not only about Mija fear of forgetting the beauty of the world and the feelings of memories that exis in words but the compassion and the assimilation of the old woman with the young victim.Poetry is indeed some powerful Movie and one I could never recommend enough!
If cinema is life, poetry is the road to cinema.
The plot focuses on a 66-year-old woman named Mija who works part-time as a caregiver for an elderly man and raises her teenage grandson, who like many teenagers is lazy, doesn't really like authority, and spends a lot of his time hanging out with friends.
During this time, she is starting to suffer from memory loss, which is starting to cause concern for doctors as it is suspected she is in the early stages of Alzheimer's. She also wants to take a poetry class to help with her memory and also as a past time, which she manages to get into, much to her delight.
One day, Mija's world is turned upside down when a girl at her grandson's school commits suicide by jumping off a bridge. Upon investigating why the girl killed herself, her diary reveals that in the months before her suicide, she was being raped repeatedly by a group of boys, which just so happens to include Mija's grandson, who shows little remorse for his horrific deed.
On top of learning of her grandson's crime, doctors confirm that she does have Alzheimer's and must come to terms with the fact that her memory is going to get progressively worse as time goes by.
On top of that, the fathers of the other boys involved with the crime are trying to settle with the dead girl's mother, so that their sons' futures are not destroyed, and they want Mija to pay her part of the settlement, which she can't afford. However, it is not only the matter of not being able to afford it, but also she struggles as to how to handle her grandson, whether or not to let him pay for his crime, or let him have his future despite destroying the life of another person.
The only distraction she has away from the complex moral dilemmas is the poetry class as she tries to figure out how to write a poem, which is the only assignment for the class during the semester, but she must figure out what poetry truly is before she can write the poem.
With her life falling apart, her grandson's future up in the air, the tremendous guilt over the dead girl and her grandson's crime, and trying to find out what poetry truly is, Mija must go on a soul-searching journey through the complexities of life and moral dilemmas.
While some may find the story has too many elements, I disagree completely. Poetry's plot takes all these elements and expertly balances them all out. Not only that, but Poetry never feels sappy, melodramatic, or cheesy because every part of it feels real and makes the viewer truly ponder what they would do when faced with so many tough life decisions (Don't think you would solve such issues so quickly, as Poetry presents them in a way that makes you think twice). Every emotion is real, every situation is down to Earth, and nothing is easy to fix. With these elements contained within the plot, Poetry is certainly not something you can forget even if you were to only see it once in your life, but it will stay with you forever.
The acting is also incredible, especially from Yun Junghee as Mija. Her performance was never anything bombastic or overwrought, but it was powerful through how she quietly conveyed her emotions. Even during the quiet scenes of reflection, she makes you believe in her performance and she commands the screen with ease. The other cast members are also top notch, even in minor roles, but Yun Junghee is the shining star in a group of greats and her performance is not something that can ever be forgotten. It's easily among the greatest film performances I've ever seen, and I've seen many great performances.
Poetry has a superb story that expertly explores complex situations, characters who are not only fleshed out, but also feel very real, amazing acting, beautiful direction, stunning visuals, terrific music, and emotions that will hit at the very core of your soul because of their tremendous impact. It's something that will make you feel alive as you travel on an emotionally complex journey with the character and feel everything that she does. You will be absorbed and you will feel everything. It's truly one of the greatest dramas not only of a generation, but it should be among the all-time greats of film history itself. It's something that you can't just watch, but it will make you feel like you are a part of the experience that it offers. No true fan of drama should ever miss out on this film, or even lovers of film as a whole and my words will never properly describe the mesmeric experience of watching Poetry. Watch it, and watch it immediately.
An amazing job by the lead actor.
A gripping and powerful performance. This is a slow burner that never feel dragged out or too long. It's lovely directed and filmed and it's slowly building up to a great finale. A complex film and naturally a very poetic film and I found it very inspiring and beautiful. Human and natural, subtle but still masterful. It would be wrong to say that there are not much going on here, but it can feel that way at times.
I know this one is going to stay with me for a long time. A great Korean flick that shouldn't be missed.
8.5 out of 10 badminton shuttlecocks.
The film follows a tough month in the life of Mija (Yun Junghee), a quiet woman who is just beginning to suffer from signs Alzheimer's disease. She's got a lot of issues to deal with; in addition to the onset of Alzheimer's, she takes care of her grandson, an ungrateful little monster; she works part-time taking care of an elderly stroke victim; and other problems surface which I won't mention here. In spit of it all, however, she still decides to take a 1-month adult-education class on poetry writing; her greatest ambition is to write just one good poem.
This is the first film I've seen by any of the people involved. Chang-dong Lee wrote and directed it, and his work is quietly masterful. You wonder how or if he's going to tie all the various story strands together; but trust me, he does, in subtle and unexpected ways. Most of the other South Korean films I've seen so far have been either violent thrillers or horror movies; this movie, while surprisingly dark, has more in common with neorealist cinema than with the pulpy genre-driven films South Korea is best known for. Yun Junghee plays Mija, and she is really terrific. We never quite get into the character's head, but she remains fascinating to watch, and easy to care for. I read than Junghee was a major star in Korea in the 1960s and 70s, but hadn't acted in 16 years before making this film. That's amazing, considering how natural and convincing her work here is.
I've probably made this sound like an eat-your-vegetables type of movie, something respectable but dry. Trust me, this movie is completely absorbing and a great experience to watch. It's on Netflix Instant.