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[Herald Review] ‘Our Season’: a relatable story for all moms and daughters

By Kim Da-sol

Published : Dec. 5, 2023 - 15:36

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“Our Season” (Showbox) “Our Season” (Showbox)

The plot of director Yuk Sang-hyo’s “Our Season” is quite simple.

Bok-ja (Kim Hae-sook) visits her daughter Jin-joo (Shin Min-a) as part of her “vacation from heaven” after suddenly passing away. Despite Bok-ja’s excitement over the prospect of seeing her daughter again, she is startled to find out that Jin-joo has quit her job as a professor at UCLA and settled down in the countryside to open a restaurant.

Together with Jin-joo's best friend, Mi-jin (Hwang Bo-ra), Jin-joo tries to revive her mother's recipes as she looks for ways to fill the emptiness she feels after her mother died alone while she was in the US.

Although Bok-ja is next to her, Jin-joo cannot talk with, touch or see her mother.

Accompanying Jin-joo wherever she goes for a full three days, Bok-ja finds out that Jin-joo has been suffering from depression for a long time, mainly due to her childhood memories of when Bok-ja had left Jin-joo under the care of her uncle in order to work to make ends meet.

Jin-joo feels betrayed by her mother, thinking that her mother was only obsessed with making money because she thought it was the only way to make her daughter happy.

The complexities of their relationship and the misunderstandings between them, with neither truly understanding each other, is an aspect that many in the audience might be able to relate to.

In addition to the detailed depiction of the complicated relationship of love and hate between a mother and her daughter, food, such as noodles, dumplings and kimchi jjigae, becomes a central theme, reminding Jin-joo of her mother and helping her to form a connection to her memory.

“Our Season” (Showbox) “Our Season” (Showbox)

Actor Shin Min-a said the story appealed to her because the relationship between Jin-joo and Bok-ja is one shared by many mothers and daughters.

“I was attracted to Jin-joo's story because I see my relationship with my mother as not very typical. (Unlike Jin-joo,) I call my mother and express my feelings to her. So I wanted to experience what it's like to be in this situation (where there is such a divide),” Shin said in an interview in Seoul on Monday.

Shin said the movie’s storyline almost felt like a fantasy to her.

“I don’t have an experience of losing someone close to me, but just thinking about it makes me feel sad. I’m sure anyone who watches this film will have that moment of sorrow, but also be able to sympathize at the same time,” she said, adding that the film didn’t deal with mother’s death heavily and seriously, but with a more lighthearted approach.

“I think those who have lost someone close might have thought ‘Is anyone looking at me from above?’ Our film gives a good answer to those who might have thought that way,” she added.

“Our Season” opens in theaters on Dec. 6.