Review: The film “Minari” highlights the struggle of the American dream

Jaylene Collins, Reporter

Family is one of the most important things in the world and the film “Minari” reminds audiences that it is often taken for granted.

“Minari” was originally shown at Sundance Film Festival in December 2020. Due to COVID-19, the film is only playing at select theaters and has been available for virtual screening on entertainment company A24’s website since February 12 of this year.

Virtual screening tickets are available for $20. Upcoming screening dates are available on A24’s website.

Director Lee Isaac Chung uses his own experiences, along with beautiful cinematography, a wonderful soundtrack, and amazing acting performances, to tell the story of the Yi family and their pursuit of the American dream.

The movie views the family through the lens of David Yi, played by Alan S. Kim, the youngest child of the family. “Minari” highlights their struggles to find their own American dream and adjust to their new life after Jacob Yi, played by Steven Yeun, moved his family out to Arkansas where he bought a farm and plans to start a farming business. Monica, played by Han Ye-ri, is not too enthused about living in rural Arkansas and is wary of their ability to start a life there.

Shots of the lush nature in Arkansas while truly beautiful, keep the film grounded as the Yi family navigate life there. Brilliant performances from the whole cast paired with a soundtrack by Emile Mosseri adds so much depth to every scene that will have you going through the same emotions as whoever is on screen.

The most notable performances were that of Yeun and Ye-ri. Their characters’ disagreements on what was best for them began to tear them and their family apart. As the film went on, David began to become lost in his dream while Monica remained grounded in their reality, thinking of the best for her family.

Audiences were left guessing what would happen to the family up until the film’s beautiful, tear-jerking ending.

It is easy to lose sight of what is important when working towards your dream and in “Minari,” that is what happened to Jacob. When he finally reaches the crossroads and must decide what is more important to him, David chooses his family. Even though all seemed lost, the Yi family showed hope of being able to grow back again, just like the minari plant.

“Minari” is a beautiful film and must-see that will have you hugging your family the moment you finish.