Minari Movie Review And Film Summary

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Video Source – A24 (A24 YouTube Channel)

Minari is a 2020 family-oriented American movie following South Korean Family directed by Lee Isaac Chung featuring Steven Yeun, Han Ye-ri, Alan Kim, Noel Cho, Youn Yuhjung, Will Patton, Jacod Wade, Scott Haze, Esther Moon, James Caroll, Eric Starkey, Kaye Brownlee- France, Skip Schwink, Jenny Phagan, Tina Parker, Ben Hall.

The movie is a semi-autobiography of the director Chung, based on his upbringing. The movie was released on December 11, 2020 theatrically and through virtual cinema on February 12, 2021.

Minari Movie Cast

  • Steven Yeun- As Jacob Yi, who desires to build his own korean farm and sell it to vendors.
  • Han Yeiri- As Monica Yi, wife of Steven Yeun, who works with him in sexing chicken near hatchery.
  • Alan Kim- As David Yi, son of Jacob and Monica Yi, who is going through heart complications.
  • Noel Cho- As Anne Yi, daughter of Jacob and Monica Yi.
  • Youn Yuhjung- As Soon-Ja, mother of Monica Yi, who finds out the place for growing minari (water celery).
  • Will Patton- As Paul, an abnormal old-aged local man, who helps Jacob Yi in farming.
  • Jacob Wade- As Johnnie, who becomes David’s friend in the church.
  • Scott Haze- As Billy, father of Johnnie.
  • Esther Moon- As Mrs. Oh, who works at a hatchery with Minica Yi.
  • James Caroll- As Brother Roy, who hires Jacob and Monica Yi at a Hatchery.
  • Eric Starkey- As Randy Boomer, Clean water selle
  • Kaye Brownlee-France- As Lab tech, who checks David for heart treatment.
  • Skip Schwink- As Doctor of David Yi.
  • Jenny Phagan- As Bonnie, a lady who meets Monica Yi at Church.
  • Tina Parker- As Debbie, a lady who meets Monica Yi at Church with Bonnie.
  • Ben Hall- As Dowsing Dan, a water diviner.

Minari Movie Plot

A Minari is a calming drama and it revolves around a family’s struggle to earn and live. During the year 1983, The Yi family shifted from California to Arkansas, their new abode. Jacob Yi plans to grow a Korean farm and sell it to the vendors in Dallas. Jacob Yi becomes a water detector for his own farm rather than spending it on some other water diviner. He takes the help of Mr Paul who seems to be an abnormal local man. Monica Yi and Jacob Yi also desires to work in a nearby hatchery during the day, they accompany Mrs Soon-Ja into the family, a grandmother of David and Anne Yi to look after the children during the day while they go to a hatchery.

Meanwhile, Soon-Ja finds out a place for growing Minari crop. After a span of time, the land of the farm becomes dry due to lower water proportion, which eventually leads Jacob Yi to pay for country water and he also faces issues like cancellation of orders. While Jacob Yi is farming, Monica Yi decides to shift to the city of California for her children, especially David Yi, who is going through a heart problem. 

After a course of time, grandmother falls sick. The Yi family heads towards Oklahoma city for David’s treatment and also to have a meeting with the vendor. With the good news of David’s heart improvement, Monica and Jacob Yi go through an emotional moment where Monica argues with Jacob on staying apart from each other, while Jacob agrees to stay with his farm. Meanwhile, Soon-ja being alone at a residence burns garbage in the vessel, which accidentally fires the warehouse of Jacob Yi, where he kept all his produce.

After returning, Jacob and Monica Yi try to save the warehouse, but eventually, everything goes out of their hand and Soon -Ja heads away from the house while children stop her from going and get back to her home. In the end, the Yi Family decides to stay in Arkansas and Jacob Yi calls a water diviner to detect a space for a well and Jacob marks it with keeping their stone. David and Jacob move towards the Minari creek grown by the Soon-ja and Jacob Yi complimenting it as a good place searched by Soon-Ja for harvesting the Minari crop.

In a still from Minari Movie

Minari Movie Review

The Cinematography of Minari is Remarkable. The sound effects, visuals came out as very elementary yet very pleasant. The Plot, Climax and end followed a continual path, which keeps you engaging without a need to create high octane, suspense inducing scenes. Minari never aspires to be that kind of movie. This Family Drama, even when there is a lot of possibility for this movie to veer off into becoming a snoozefest, gripped me to the core and expected undivided attention at all times. The acting of each and every cast seems to be very delightful and concrete. 

This film portrays that each character plays an important role in the movie, rather than spinning around only one or two characters. I feel like it actually begins to pick pace when Soon-Ja joins the Yi family, and her role in this movie seems to be very joyful and carefree, in comparison to those of other characters. These two hours give the audience numerous constructive messages. It showed how the decisions change according to the situation. 

It portrays loyalty and respect when son David supports his father’s decision of living in Arkansas. David’s character appeared to be very silent but notorious at the same time. While Anne’s character seemed very understanding in the overall spectrum. Monica’s character, I perceived, was a little negative at times but also very logical from a wife’s point of view. Jacob Yi seemed to be a very hardworking and hopeful man. The film is the amalgamation of emotions, efforts and hope. The pacing obviously makes the movie seem predictable at times, even when the stuff that takes place is wrapped around an overall mundanity. 

Minari Movie Critical Reception

On a Review aggregator, website Rotten Tomatoes, the movie holds an approval rating of 90% based on 272 critic reviews, with an average rating of 8.70/10. The overall review on site is good since the reviews are positive.

The Movie Culture Synopsis

Minari is smooth and easygoing with life lessons and metaphors scattered throughout the runtime. It grips you and uses its mundane setting to its biggest advantage. It is interesting from start to end and it follows a constant path, which eventually leads to simple and effective cinema.