My Brother

I watched a Korean movie, My Brother, last night. It is well-written, and moving. The story is narrated by the younger brother of a cleft-lipped boy, who is the runt of the family and thus gets all the attention from his doting mother. The boys’ father left them because of his son’s disfigurement, and shortly after that, the mother discovered she was pregnant (with the narrator).
The father leaves little behind – except an old camera. The show begins and ends with that camera. As the boys grow up, there is rivalry for a girl, and the older son’s heart is broken as his brother plagiarises his love poetry for her, and ends up going out with her instead. Still, the older son shows love and patience to his brother, despite getting constantly abused by him. Eventually they start to get along. But there is one thing the narrator is unable to do – call his disfigured sibling ‘his brother’. His whole life has been filled with jealousy towards his older brother, and resentment towards his mother for the unequal treatment.
While the older son goes on to medical school, the narrator falls out with society, his mother, and even his brother, becoming a debt-collector. Ultimately a string of unfortunate misdeeds which he commits, comes back to haunt him, and it is finally then that he can call his cleft-lipped sibling ‘his brother’.


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