#InsiderReviews: Minari: Where nostalgia is something else

Another movie that displays the obstacles Asian American families face but with a twist of hope.



Whether you have finished all your university assignments, still stuck doing them, procrastinating, or just beginning; you deserve to have your mind blown and your soul inspired by watching a rich and insightful movie like Minari. With 32 awards and 70 nominations, the American drama film is definitely the perfect choice if you’re looking tohave a movie night or just recharge your soul.

The movie is about a Korean couple who moved to the states in the 80s to pursue the American dream and provide a good living for their two American-born children. Despite this being a classic movie that discusses ideas like acculturation and immigration, Lee Isaac Chung, the writer and director of this movie, actually talks about his own background growing up, making it an autobiographical film. 

The themes the movie discusses are basic, but what makes them very special is how they’re presented by the characters. Firstly, the American dream is one of the major themes in this movie. We see our main characters: Jacob and Monica Yi, leave their house in California behind and move to Arkansas where they strive in their work as employees in a factory for separating female and male chicks . Jacob  buys a house there and plans to start his business as a farmer who produces  Korean vegetables. 

Marriage is another theme as well; we see the couple fighting over very different yet the same issues;  Jacob and Monica both want what is best for their children but each in their own way. Another issue that was shown is how they both put family first, but with different approaches  like Jacob working hard to make his farm see the light or Monica going to church and establishing good connections for her children. However, at the end of the day we see them reconcile through simple gestures.

There is also the family theme which is very different, as we can see small yet major sacrifices the family members make for each other. For instance, Monica’s mother leaves her home in Korea to come and watch over Anne and David as she tries hard to be an American-like grandmother. We see Anne, a 9 year old girl who is very uptight and mature, always making sure that everything and everyone in their house is doing alright without actually stepping in  and saving the day, she also tries to make the rest of the family members independent the American way.  

The movie discusses a bunch of other themes like love, class, and of course coming of age, but if we pick up each theme this film unfolds, it would be a very huge spoiler. The title itself Minari is a Korean word for “Korean Celery” A type of plant used in the Asian cuisine. Chung explained the meaning behind it saying “The interesting thing about it is that it’s a plant that will grow very strongly in its second season after it has died and come back. So there’s an element of that in the film, so it grows very expansively without doing much to it. It’s a poetic plant in a way for me.”

To wrap it up folks, this movie is given the rating of 100 percent on rotten tomatoes, while we give it a 200 percent. So buy yourself some good ramen noodles and tune in to the movie!(that is after you finish your assignments of course)