Mother (2020) review – Japanese Netflix film is a tragic story of cruel parenting

By Daniel Hart
Published: November 3, 2020
Netflix film Mother - 2020


Mother is the work of a visionary director, highlighting a broken, abusive family life.

This review of Netflix film Mother (2020, Japanese release) contains no spoilers. The drama was released on November 3, 2020.

Mother, not to be mistaken with similar titles, is a difficult movie to stomach. It follows a young mother who tries to manipulate the world into giving her money — she does not want to work, and she entertains herself with equally damaging men. For most of the film, your focus is on the child — a son that seems destined for a childhood of abuse and pain. There’s a level of cruelty displayed from this Netflix film, one that makes the audience question the motives of parents who do not want to do right by their children.

Mother does not sway past the cracks; the parent is unveiled as someone who is broken and serves no logical approach to parenting; everything is money, manipulation and scamming. The child plays as the audience’s perspective — nothing makes sense, everything is wild, and it’s a constant barrage of threat. The term “We are all God’s children” is hard to imagine when a film like this shows what some children have to go through due to cruel and abusive parenting.

The child is tentative and quiet. Netflix’s Mother frames it in a way where the young boy is trapped but also emotionally crippled by biology. We don’t choose our parents, and that love is somehow default. The director pours his heart into each scene to demonstrate how the young boy feels while his mother acts erratically and moves from one project to the next.

And it’s quite common from children in abusive homes to keep moving — it’s the only way that the parent can handle their life; it has to be chaotic and nonsensical to fulfil that need, that selfishness that overbears them. Mother displays that cruelty to a formidable level and maintains the story in its 2-hour outing.

A film like this needs great performance and great they are. The cast manages to embrace the life of a low-income, cyclical hell, showing authenticity and naturalness in their performances. Everything feels “day to day”. There’s not an answer in sight, just general glumness.

Mother is the work of a visionary director, highlighting a broken, abusive family life.

For more recaps, reviews, and original features covering the world of entertainment, why not follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page?

Movie Reviews, Netflix

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *