**** 1/2

Korean director Bong Joon-ho (The Host) is peerless when it comes to switching between tones, and Mother registers as another marvellous balancing act.

This story of a 65-year-old woman (Kim Hye-ja) trying to protect her mentally disabled son (Won Bin) after he’s accused of murder is at once a probing treatise on maternal devotion, a tense police procedural and a pitch-dark comedy.

Bong is a cynic with a poet’s eye: Mother features the most unsettlingly precise colour scheme since Eyes Wide Shut.

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