My view of the main character changed drastically throughout the movie. As she sets off to prove her sons innocence she may seam overbearing but very caring for her son, doing all that she can to provide for them. As the movie goes on and we learn of her attempt to murder her son I started to see hear overbearing nature as a guilty conscience for what she had done. It’s possible she even caused his brain damage while attempting to poison him. The way she also tells her son to seek vengeance and to worse on to others that take insult him shows how she created the explosive anger in her son. By the end I felt the mother was truly being motivated by her own pride and couldn’t bear that people thought her son was the murderer, even if he truly was.
This movie portrays a lot of injustice. Even Jin-Tae who in the end helps the Mother begins by taking advantage of her. The rich officials treat her as a child, refusing to deal with her or listen to what she has to say. At the beginning of the movie the Mother sets out to bring justice for Ah-Jung’s murder. By the end she’s finding justice for herself, willing to do anything for her own sense of justice.
I believe the needles represent the Mothers own guilt. Throughout the movie the Mother is talking about the meridian point, the point that loosens the muscles of the heart so you can forget. I believe that the Mother carried the guilt for murdering her son, using the needles to try and forget what she’d done. The irony is that the needles will continue to remind the Mother of exactly what she’s trying to forget. The fact that the needles serve as a reminder of her guilt is exemplified when as she tries to go on a tour to relax her son returns her needle case to her; reminding her of the murder she committed to save her. We see the mother use the meridian point on herself by the end of the movie, but I doubt this is the first time the Mother has used this point on herself. And I doubt its the last time she will have to use it to try and forget.