The newest South Korean drama, Broker, written and directed by the great Hirokazu Kore-eda introduces us to Sang-hyeon (Song Kang-ho) and Dong-soo (Gang Dong-won), who steal babies from a church’s baby box to sell them on the adoption black market. But when So-young (Lee Ji-eun) returns for her baby and discovers their illegal business, she decides to go with them on a road-trip to interview potential parents for her baby, all while two detectives, Soo-jin (Bae Doona) and Detective Lee (Lee Joo-young) investigate them.

One of the best aspects here is the poetic screenplay. Much like his 2018 feature, Shoplifters, Kore-eda doesn’t shy away from the bad decisions his characters make, but he doesn’t pass judgement either. Instead, he highlights the humanity behind each of their actions, not allowing these decisions to define who they are. Within a fairly complex plot exists a simple story about people just trying to understand and help one another as they all navigate some of life’s most challenging obstacles. 

It’s in these scenes of unfettered laughter and tenderness that don’t necessarily move the plot along, but allow us to take part in intimate moments of pure joy, where we get to witness what makes Kore-eda’s work so meaningful. The entire cast is phenomenal. They have such great chemistry with one another that it makes you want to see them happy, and Song Kang-ho, who’s able to bring a certain lightness to these parts while also delivering one of the most heartbreaking performances, unsurprisingly stands out.

Family doesn’t have to be defined by blood, sometimes family is found. The patience and empathy guiding this film is the reason why it couldn’t be done by anyone other than Kore-eda, and with such a talented cast at the helm, Broker proves itself to be absolutely exceptional.



CAST: Song Kang-ho, Gang Dong-won, Bae Doona, Lee Ji-eun, Lee Joo-young

DIRECTOR: Hirokazu Kore-eda

WRITER: Hirokazu Kore-eda

SYNOPSIS: People associated with baby boxes, which allow infants to be dropped off anonymously to be cared for by others, join together.