So I FINALLY, finally got around to watching ‘Miracle in Cell No. 7’ which was quite a popular watch as it managed to become the 4th best selling film ever in South Korea, following after ‘The Thieves’, ‘The Host’, and ‘Avatar’, with having sold 12 million tickets. I had already heard about the popular movie which stars talented Ryoo Seung-Ryeong, Park Shin Hye as the old version of his daughter and Kal So-Won as his younger version of his daughter, Park Won-Sang who you might recognize from Korean drama ‘Shark’, Jeong Man-sik from ‘Good Doctor’, and many more talented actors and actresses. My younger sister (who’s a big fan of EXO and thus watched their ‘EXO Showtime’) recommended that I watch this movie since EXO cried over this movie and I just heard from all around that this movie was sad, but amazing so I decided to watch it today since I had nothing to do.
By the time I was finished watching the movie, I regretted not grabbing any tissues beforehand. I was watching this movie on my cell phone while lying on my bed. When those super emotional and deep scenes occurred and tears were sprinting down my eyes at an uncontrollable pace, I had nothing, but my shirt and my pillow to wipe my tears on. Soooo in the end, my pillow got wet and so did my shirt. I did not think I would need tissues for this movie; I knew it was going to be sad but I never usually cry easily when watching movies or Korean dramas, but damn, this movie sure did prove me wrong!
‘Miracle in Cell No. 7’ revolves around a mentally handicapped man Yong-goo (played by Ryoo Seung-ryong) and his loving relationship with his mature, intelligent, and adorable daughter Ye-seung (played by the very cute and talented and impressive Kal So-won who did amazing in this movie by the way). He’s falsely accused of murdering and raping a young girl (who happens to be the daughter of the police commissioner) so when Yong-goo is serving time in jail, he befriends his prison mates who all assist him in getting his daughter Ye-seung to sneak inside their prison cell so they can be together (because Yong-goo and Ye-seung are inseparable after all). Park Shin-hye plays the older version of Ye-seung once she’s all grown up and plays a lawyer.
[SPOILERS AHEAD. IF YOU HAVE NOT WATCHED THIS MOVIE, STOP WHATEVER YOU ARE DOING AT THIS MOMENT AND GO WATCH IT. GO GO GO!]
‘Miracle in Cell No. 7’ did a great job at establishing Yong-goo and Ye-seung’s father and daughter relationship. They have these habits that they created while Ye-seung was growing up like how after bidding farewell with her father because he has to go somewhere, she would count to three and once she reaches three, Yong-goo would turn around and they would make all these hilarious and goofy faces with each other. Or when you see them telling each other to eat meals that just doesn’t consist of bread but actual food or when we discover that Ye-seung is the one who takes care of all the bills, because her father is unable to. As this movie is about their relationship, we are supposed to witness them being close to each other, but I think it’s so much more moving because Yong-goo is handicapped and he’s mentally ill, but he’s still trying to make a living as if he was a regular man who only cares about saving people regardless of whether he gets hurt or not and that just shows how great and hard-working he is. He’s willing to risk his life to save others in this movie who did not care about him and that’s why Yong-goo is so likable.
I think ultimately a motif that this movie brings up is sacrifices. The prisoners that Yong-goo befriends are sacrificing their lives and sentences to help sneak Ye-seung into the prison cell so she can reunite with her father. They can get caught any time by the police guards, but they still go through with it, because they want the best for Ye-seung and Yong-goo. Furthermore, towards the end of the movie, we witness Yong-goo sacrifice himself so that he can protect and save his daughter from any suffering and harsh punishments. The relationships and friendships built in this movie goes deep down and that’s why it was so touching and moving. That’s why when we saw the prisoners helping Yong-goo the day before his trial come up with all these different answers to possible questions he could be asked it was truly heart-warming or when they bidded farewell with Yong-goo when he was to leave them forever, why that scene was so heart-breaking and emotional. Or when Ye-seung said bye to her father thinking that she would be able to visit him like how she usually had been doing for the past few months to only discover years later that it would not be possible. I cried waterfalls, rivers, and pools, because of the sacrifices that Yong-goo, the prisoners, and Ye-seung were willing to make for each other.
Of course I was angry and enraged at the injustice that Yong-goo had to go through. He did not commit anything, he did not do anything wrong, but still he was placed in jail and looked at badly and later on suffered from that consequence. But despite all the negativity and injustice, I loved how there was comedy and warmth in this movie. It was bad enough that Yong-goo had to go to jail for something he did not commit, but then watching everything that happened while he was in jail was entertaining and hilarious, although honestly a bit exaggerating (I’m not so sure if a daughter can be sneaked into a prison cell that easily without being noticed for days or if a group of prisoners can make a hot air balloon and manage to get a father and daughter into that balloon and float away), but it’s those events that makes this whole movie worth while and worth watching.
Again, I wished I would have been prepared for the amount of tears and laughter that this movie put me through. I definitely recommend that you watch it. You will definitely feel cheated and infuriated, but then again, you will forget about those bad feelings and be reminded of laughter and smiles when you see Yong-goo and Ye-seung interact with each other. Often times just seeing them together made me think of my own father and how I know he would be willing to make the same exact decision and sacrifices for me. That’s what parents do. They’ll do anything for their children. On another note, I’m glad that Ye-seung fought for justice for her father when she grew up. It made me proud and happy.
Out of a scale of 10, I would rank this movie a nine. A movie filled with warmth, family, laughter, and happiness that teaches you about sacrifices and love. Although some escape plans were a bit exaggerating which kind of threw me off honestly, I still enjoyed ‘Miracle in Cell No. 7’ for everything else that it was.
Just remember to place a stack of tissues next to you when watching this movie. You will most definitely need it.
You can watch ‘Miracles in Cell No. 7’ with English subs here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pInWoBKJvs.
(just continue to find the other parts on the same youtube channel. Credits go to JunyiRose @ youtube!).