If you aren't impressed by Bong Joon Ho yet, you probably never will be. For, Ho is a master of film, understanding it not only on a visual level but on a rhythmic one too. Mother is no different. The film is a smoothly paced, dark, shocking thriller where Ho manages to excel at everything while pushing boundaries that are rarely explored.
You could link Mother to many a piece of art. From John Kennedy Toole's novel to the mysterious figure of Laura Palmer in David Lynch's television cult hit Twin Peaks who shares some shady links with Mother's murder victim Moon Ah-jeong (Moon Hee-ra) However, Denis Villeneuve's gritty thriller 'Prisoners' shares the most links, making for an interesting western counterpart to this film.
While Ho's signature criticism of class structures is at play in this film, other themes jump out such as (obviously) maternal responsibility, police reliability, and torture tactics. No-one is perfect in this film, which many place as a black comedy. While the film's beginnings have some humorous moments, particularly a kerfuffle on a golf course, it is grimy and filled with pain. Its aesthetic is much like the back cars of the hierarchal train in Ho's Snowpiercer while its characters are simultaneously sympathetic and detestable.