There’s a Korean movie you just have to watch. Called “Miracle in Cell No. 7”, this is one of the sweetest, funniest and saddest movies I’ve watched in awhile.
Miracle in Cell No. 7 is a story about one girl, her mentally handicapped father, a group of prisoners and a wretched Sailor Moon backpack.
When the movie opens, the intelligence of the child, Ye-Seung, is already well beyond the intelligence of the father. Played by Ryu Seung Ryong, one of Korea’s finest movie stars, the character of Yong-Gu is sweet, loving but has a very low IQ and doesn’t really understand the world and the possible cruelties of the world. He likes what Ye-Seung likes; he does what she tells him to do, and she, in her young age, adores her father though she comprehends he’s handicapped.
The story begins to really happen after Yong-Gu gets arrested for the rape and murder of a child. As is the case in prison, most criminals who hurt children are looked down upon even among his equally guilty peers, and there begins a tough life for Yong-Gu with his cellmates.
To refrain from giving away too many details, I won’t go into much more of the storyline except to say that between his first day and the first day they learn about his daughter, Ye-Seung, the relationship dynamics in this one cell transform drastically and forever.
The level of acting shown by each and every character in this movie is amazing. From Gal So-Won’s acting which tugs on the heartstrings to the fine acting of Ryu Seung-Ryong, who had to balance being mentally handicapped and yet being lovable so delicately, is truly commendable.
But even the cellmates…and the prison warden….all of them put on outstanding performances. You will remember Oh Dal-Soo, from The Thieves as well as The Attorney, who puts on a completely different but fabulous act as the ringleader in cell #7.
One actor I’ve loved a lot lately is Kim Jung-Tae, who also puts on a stellar performance as the nervous cellmate.
Once you watch it, it’s really not surprising this easily rose to the #4 bestselling film of all time — an honor it guards to the day of this writing. It’s breathtaking when you see a young child match the acting chops of a full-grown man, with neither shining out the other.
Oh, and Park Shin-Hye plays the older version of Ye-Seung — which doesn’t hurt your eyes at all.
Definitely watch this. I’m including the entire movie below for your viewing pleasure! (Make sure to turn on the “CC” button and select English for the subtitles.)