Broker: the baby box drama movie’s ending, explained


Broker(Beurokeo) is a South Korean dramedy, depicting the culture of infamous baby boxes and child trafficking. Let’s find what the end was about.

Spoilers Ahead!

A baby got dropped off in front of a church

A young girl drops off her baby right in front of a baby box at a church in pelting rain, put in the baby in the baby box by detectives. They want to catch traffickers and this baby is their bait.

Dong-soo, a church employee, is suspected. A church volunteer and a laundry shop man, Sang-hyun is his partner. They steal this baby, removing the box footage and the latter takes him to his house, with the detectives trailing behind.

Everything turns complicated when the baby- Woo-sung’s- mother shows up the next day to collect her child. She says that she put up a note saying ‘I’ll come back for you’ with the baby- a note which Dong-soo disregards because it’s a promise almost never fulfilled by the mothers. And that note’s existence means that those babies can’t be adopted.

A quest to find the baby a new family

Dong-soo and Sang-hyun believe they’re the good guys giving kids to loving families. When So-young finds out that her baby can fetch for almost $8000 (10 million won), she agrees and they all embark on a road trip to meet the potential family.

Their first deal doesn’t go well. They were too criticising of the baby- eyebrows too thin and etc. This enrages So-young and she calls them out for their rudeness. Not only did theirplan fail, but also of the detectives who couldn’t catch them red-handed.

An orphanage where the dynamics change

Dong-soo takes them to an orphanage, one where he grew up there. It’s full of kids but it’s revealed that adoption rates haven’t been well. It’s here, after a heated argument, where So-young realizes that Dong-soo was left a similar note like hers by his mom before abandoning him.

So-young is known as Sang-hyun’s wife and they meet children and the owners of the orphanage. In that orphanage, a young child Hae-jin, who loves playing football, asks Sang-hyun to be adopted by him.

But as the trio leaves, Hae-jin is revealed to have escaped with them. They all behave like adoptive parents to the boy. They are off to meet another family- one set-up by the detectives. They prepare them with answers but as the group arrives to negotiate, they understand the trick and leave.

An alternating story in process

On another side, there’s a murder that’s been happened and police investigation underway. Moreover, So-young is being called to give back the baby by a widow lady. And after confrontation with detectives, put a wire on her to know planning.

The three form their unique bond, a family of sorts, during this whole ordeal. It is revealed that So-young is a murderer who killed Woo-sung’s father because she’d been forced and has been in prostitution circles. Now, the father’s widow wants the baby.

Next day, when the guys find out that they’re being tracked through So-young but don’t want to leave her, a man comes to take the baby but is dealt with. They escape by tricking the police GPS in their car and board a train.

Another rejection and the climax

In Seoul, the prospective parents come up with a condition that Woo-sung shouldn’t meet his real mother in the future. The trio leaves to think and explore the city, visiting fairs. On the Ferris wheel, Dong-soo suggests they all become a family to raise the baby, him as the father. So-young doesn’t believe in it because she will be arrested soon.

The detective asks So-young to turn herself in for a lesser sentence and chance to be with baby again. Sang-hyun and Dong-soo take the baby to the parents again. Sang-hyun values protection for Woo-sung and rejects the 40 million deal with the widow’s gangster and goes off with him.

Back at the parent’s home, while talking of their deal, the police arrests Dong-soo for child trafficking. So-young had turned herself in. In a news broadcast near Sang-hyun, a man is found dead with 40 million won in his room.

Time leap and the ending, explained

Years pass in the last few scenes. Woo-sung is being taken care by the detective on So-young’s insistence. The prospective parents also meet the boy occasionally. Detective writes to So-young, (Dong-soo and Hae-jin too), asking her to come to the park on several days, although she hasn’t. But looking at a locker picture of them all together, she goes to the park and starts searching… and that’s the end.

It could be that they are all a family now, as Dong-soo wanted, and they want to care for Woo-sung. A car which picked up a grown Hae-jin has the same picture as with So-young, so it can be a possibility.

Talking to Hollywood Reporter, director Hirokazu Kore-eda says about the abandonment that “…these children grow up asking themselves a fundamental question, which is: Is it okay that I was born? Was I supposed to have been born?… I was thinking, what do I want to say with this film to the people who grew up with this experience?”