'Minari' Film Review

Minari tells the tale of the bonds of family

Still from 'Minari' (2020). Courtesy of Madman Entertainment.

Minari is a film that is full of heart. Bridging the divide between cultures, this is a simple but engrossing tale of a migrant Korean-American family trying to survive and make the most of making a new life in Arkansas, where they have relocated after living in California. Family life changes forever here with the arrival of their maternal grandmother, who is a sly, unorthodox lady but one that loves fiercely.

Offering stunning performances from the whole cast, the film is made by the young boy, David, who steals the hearts of viewers as he gets to know his slightly eccentric but very loving grandmother, and who together, begin to find their place in this new community. Weighed down by ideas of what grandmothers should be, he rebels at the tea he is given to drink and at having to share a room with his grandmother. The film does also show how over time the two learn to love each other and captures many special moments of the two together, such as when they go out walking and his grandmother plants the Korean herb, minari, near the river, giving the film it's name.

Showing the strength of family while facing significant challenges, and still proving resilient, Minari is all about how families weather the storms of life, regardless of all the difficulties encountered. A timeless story about love, patience and surviving, even in the most unexpected places and how we can learn to love the difficulties along the way, this film teaches us quietly, somehow achieving in the viewer the feeling that we are all stronger by surviving, even when the consequences push the family to the brink, and make them experience loss and tragedy in a totally different way.

Rating: 4/5