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Ko - production in Busan
  • In Focus: Miracle in Cell No. 7
  • by Pierce Conran /  Jan 30, 2013

  • Directed by LEE Hwang-kyung
    Featuring RYOO Seung-ryong, OH Dal-soo, KIM Jung-tae, PARK Won-sang, JUNG Man-sik, KIM Ki-chun, JUNG Ji-young
    Release Date January 23rd
    Starting off the New Year with a bang, Miracle in Cell No. 7 is one of the first major hits of 2013. The prison drama with a twist (it’s a family melodrama) scored the biggest opening weekend since The Thieves, which went on to become the highest-grossing Korean film of all time, opened last summer. With its mix of appealing genres, engaging ensemble cast and social themes, the studio picture struck a chord with audience and is likely to continue performing strongly through February.
    A single father with the mental capacity of a young child is accused of the abduction, assault and murder of a young girl. Innocent, but unable to defend himself, he is quickly sentenced to death and hauled off to prison, separated from the treasure in his life, his young daughter Yeseung. Within the confines of cell no. 7, his childlike demeanor and pure spirit soon inspire his hardened cellmates to grant him a very special wish. Yeseung is snuck into the cell but now they must all be careful not to alert the suspicions of the warden.
    Miracle in Cell No. 7 boasts a stellar ensemble cast that features some of Korea’s most prolific working actors. RYU Seung-ryong, who is red hot after the successes of last year’s All About My Wife and Masquerade, heads the proceedings as the wrongly convicted father. Showing off his versatile ability as a performer, RYOO strikes just the right balance in the kind of role that has in the past spelt disaster for even some of the most talented thespians. Bouncing off him and adding an array of colorful characters to the proceedings are veteran supporting players such as OH Dal-soo, who has appeared in a great number of the best Korean films of the past decade, who is on great form as the cell boss, while others such as KIM Jung-tae, PARK Won-sang, JUNG Man-sik, KIM Ki-chun and JUNG Jin-young fill out the terrific cast.
    Director LEE Hwan-kyung confidently handles the proceedings, building on his experience with sentimental fare such as Lump of Sugar (2006) and Champ (2011). The film is designed to elicit an emotional response from viewers but it takes care not to go too far. By blending many genres such as prison drama, family melodrama and more, not to mention numerous pressing social themes ranging from child abuse to the unfair legal system, Miracle in Cell No. 7 offers a little bit of something to all comers.
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