Take Me Home

In Jay Han’s drama, two women find even the basics of a happy family are hard to come by for same-sex couples.

“Someone might see us.”

Eun-su and Ye-won are a lesbian couple living a secret life. Though Ye-won wants to be out and proud of her relationship, Eun-su understands Korea’s conservative stances too well and does what she can to find it. After Eun-su is involved in a car accident which kills her sister, the two women decide – albeit reticently – to take charge of Eun-su’s niece Sumin (). Eun-su is left paralysed by the ordeal as well, which adds another layer of strain on their relationship, and though Eun-su wants her girlfriend to leave, Ye-won doesn’t, and makes the choice to stay and help despite the difficulties two lesbian women raising a child will no doubt pose.

At first glance, Take me Home comes off as a bit standard, as far as story structure goes. The plot, where two people’s lives are turned upside down by a tragedy that forces them to adopt a child is nothing we haven’t seen before, nor is the story of the struggles of a same-sex couple trying to get the same rights as a heterosexual couple. Where Take Me Home shines is in the details: from the unconventional nature of the leads’ relationship (notably in how Eun-su was once Ye-won’s teacher) to the guilt Eun-su feels for everything that’s happened. The two leads are the movie’s heart and soul and it’s through them – and the fine performances of the actors – that Take Me Home starts to look less like a movie and more like a slice of two very real lives.

A decent part of the story’s internal drama comes from its two main characters and their respective views on life. The May-December relationship immediately shows the difference between them in their levels of maturity, which helps define their views while setting this story apart from others in its vein. The characters aren’t locked into their defining personalities, however, and there are times when Ye-won has to be the one talking sense. Their conflicts work better than some of the more generic problems: there are antagonistic social workers and shallow co-workers that pepper the movie, but they often come across as a bit simplistic to be considered very good foils.

Take Me Home is at its best when it lets Eun-su, Ye-won and Sumin discover, and then eventually work their through, their own internal problems. The system that treats them as lesser simply for being unmarried and gay works better as a background presence that stifles their efforts and chokes happiness whenever it comes in reach. Those scenes are what give the film its powerful sense of injustice, not the villainous worker who asks Sumin leading questions. It’s good that there are so many examples of the former, and while Take Me Home is a downer – after all, it would be doing its subject a disservice while coming off as disingenuous – it’s still gripping, touching and occasionally uncomfortable viewing from start to end.

Verdict: Sometimes unfocused and often bleak, Take Me Home’s message is bolstered by strong characters and actors.

Overall entertainment: 7/10
Violence: 0/10
Sex: 1/10
Feels: 6/10
Bereavement leave: One day per sibling, no more
Fried egg close ups: Not quite on par with Studio Ghibli, but they’re OK

Take Me Home (2020)
Also known as: 담쟁이

Director: Jay Han
Writer: Jay Han


Lee Yeon – Kim Ye-Won
Woo Mi-hwa – Jeong Eun-su
Kim Bo-min – Sumin

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