Broker (2022)

You’ll be sold on ‘Broker’

Continuing his reflections on what defines a family, writer-director Hirokazu Kore-eda delivers another mini-masterpiece in which love and criminality meld into a brazen attempt to steal your heart.

Yes, he’s repeating many of the themes introduced in his Oscar-nominated “Shoplifters,” but if the formula works, why modify it? Instead of squatters, this time the focus is on a pair of incompetent Korean baby traffickers in Ha Sang-hyeon (“Parasite’s” Song Kang-ho) and Dong-soo (Gang Dong-won).

Unbeknownst to the duo, they are being closely tailed by a pair of female detectives (Bae Doona and Lee Joo-young) monitoring their dealings with Moon So-young (Lee Ji-eun), the unwed mother of a newborn she’s seeking to sell for desperately needed cash. The trio is deplorable, yet oddly lovable, as they traverse Korea chasing prospective parents willing to pay top dollar.

Natch, things don’t go as planned. And along the way, another child, an 8-year-old, soccer-loving orphan named Hae-jin (Im Seung-soo), joins this impromptu “family” of misfits. It’s a tricky venture fashioning such a scenario into a LOL comedy, but if anyone is up to the task, it’s the insightful, soulful Kore-eda, a master at revealing the goodness in society’s most marginal characters.

It might be a slight step down from “Shoplifters,” but “Broker” proffers a most irresistible offering; one you’ll most assuredly want to adopt.

Movie review


Rated: R for some language

Cast: Song Kang-ho, Gang Dong-won, Im Seung-soo and Lee Ji-eun

Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda

Writer: Hirokazu Kore-eda

Runtime: 129 minutes

Grade: B+

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