Minari is an American Story

When a Korean American family moves from California to a farm in Arkansas to find their “American Dream”, the challenges of adapting to a new life are felt through three generations of the family in Minari (2020). Directed by Lee Issac Chung, the film stars Steven Yeun, Han Ye-ri, Youn Yuh-jung, Alan S. Kim and Noel Cho. The film explores the concept of the “American Dream” and what it means to be family. YouTubers Zach Pope, Perri Nemiroff, Elliot from Movie Files and brothers from The Oscar Expert share their views on the award-winning film.

It’s tremendously beautiful. In a story that I was in love with from the opening scene to the very last. It’s a movie that I can’t express enough that is a must-see film right now. And it’s a subtle wonder of a story that touches the gentle themes of what it means to be a family, what a Korean culture would look like inside a community and just in Arkansas and also the dreams of a father who only wants to do one thing, bringing greatness to his family and accomplishing his goals.

Minari is the best example of a completely American story, says YouTuber Zach Pope. The film does a great job at telling the story of an American family living in search of the American Dream, according to Pope. The YouTuber also praises the director and says that the screenplay on top of the amazing performances really present the depths and details of how this family goes about starting their journey to success.

His direction and writing here was elevated to such a particular level. We take a deep dive into the culture at hand and the beauty that you can make out of it. And the depths that again Lee Issac Chung is able to bring about in the film is not alienating anyone from any other culture, but in the end, it’s bringing you and making you feel like you are part of this family.

A funny, charming and heartfelt story, says the brothers from the channel The Oscar Expert, who really enjoy the fact that the film still believes in the “American Dream” and its in fact not dead. They also enjoy the performances, especially between Steven Yeun’s character and his wife played by Han Ye-ri:

It’s a very funny and charming movie and the dialogue is very good. It’s like a really well written movie. I think this screenplay nomination will be very deserved and so some of the conflicts between Steven Yeun and the wife, they are really well written, they feel very real. I like those scenes the best actually in the movie and I think they’re performances are really great.

YouTuber Perri Nemiroff is delighted by the performances from the younger actors Noel Cho and Alan S. Kim. They give such energy and a very charming performance that will instantly make you root for them, according to the YouTuber, who also believes Kim turned into the breakout star of the film.

Noel Cho also delivers excellent work as their daughter Ann. She’s just got this really calm strength and maturity to her that really stands out especially alongside Alan S. Kim who plays her little brother David … really nothing I can say here will prepare you for how charming he is in this movie.

The film takes you into the heart of the Korean American family living in America, highlighting the struggles of what it means to be a family and what it means to live out the American Dream, says Nemiroff who finds the director Lee Issac Chung, expertly weaves all these different emotional aspects into the story so naturally.

This is just an incredibly full, deeply moving piece that works so well on so many levels. The humor, the heart, the stakes are high throughout, there’s a real delicacy to the way everything is captured to ensure you’re not just an observer here but that you really feel part of the events unfolding.

Elliot from Movie Files also agrees that the film is one big roller coaster of emotions, all precisely and strategically woven together to showcase this family and the film's message.

I was enamored with this movie. There were so many emotions while watching this movie. For me smiling and feeling like this charming nature to the film, to me being emotionally invested in the story and characters. Having moments where I teared up and literally crying in this film, to me just seeing moments in this film where my jaw literally hit the floor. There are so many emotional things I went through. It was an emotional roller coaster and it was all thanks to the direction of the director here.

The themes of family values, the cost of living the American Dream, and the immigrant experience and resilience are all touched on perfectly in this film, according to Elliot. Along with the outstanding performances of the actors, who created a true and authentic connection with each character making them all seem whole-heartedly believable, the YouTuber gives Minari a perfect 5/5 rating.

This film hits its themes so perfectly. Like themes like what the American dream can cost you, family values, culture, the resilience of the immigrant experience, making a lot out of a little, and the importance of appreciating things that you have in your life.

YouTubers Zach Pope, Perri Nemiroff, Elliot from Movie Files and The Oscar Expert, rate and review new movies and TV shows on their channels regularly.