If one really wants to know how justice is administered in a country, one does not question the protected, policemen, the lawyers, or the rich ones… one goes to the unprotected; those, precisely, who need the law’s protection most and listens to their testimony– James Baldwin.
The veracity of the above quote was represented in the plot of Miracle In Cell No 7 which portrayed the level of the injustice of the poor, weak and disadvantaged.
The storyline centers around a young girl, Ova (Nisa Sofiya Aksongur), and her father, Memo (Aras Bulut Iynemli) who is a shepherd in Turkey. Memo has a cognitive disorder however he still manages to have a very interesting relationship with his daughter, making use of interesting words, slangs, and terms which become their personal way of understanding themselves. Initially confused as to why her father acted differently from other parents, Ova questions her “Nana”. Her Nana replies by saying “Your father is the same age as you”. Ova’s father, Memo because of his condition, sees the world differently.
You can attest to this in a scene when Ova pointed at the sky and asked her father to tell her what it was. People referred to him as a nitwit and felt that he had lost his senses. The movie progresses by introducing yet another main character, his mother who is referred to as “Nana”. “Nana” understands her son and has a lot of empathy when she looks at him.
An incident occurs that leads to Memo, who is mentally impaired to be falsely accused. It was a painful incident for his family. They understood Memo to be a timid, fragile, and innocent man who only wants his little Ova to be happy. Ova, as little as she is trying to clear her father’s name by trying to get a witness to the incident to come forward. He gets accused of killing a General’s daughter who in turn uses his power and position to influence the legal proceedings against Memo.
Memo is therefore forced and tortured to sign a false confession taking responsibility for what he did not do. His mental health condition is also ignored consequently leading to his trial as well as the execution verdict.
Memo’s time in prison is an eventful one as he becomes a target of violence and bullying. The prisoners however discover Memo was falsely accused and so they begin to strategize ways to prove his innocence. Memo’s character and personality continue to endear him to the rest of the prisoners.
They were all too convinced that he could not hurt anyone let alone kill a little girl. The rest of the movie takes us through an emotional roller coaster as we see the various moves and counter moves from the characters; the General on one side, the cellmates, the wardens, and Memo’s family on the other.
The movie was based on the 2013 South Korean film Miracle In no 7 Cell which was directed by Lee Hwan-Kyung and was produced on the 25th of December 2019.
My thoughts on the movie.
I personally do not like to watch movies where I have to read the subtitles while watching but i didn’t mind at all after the opening scenes. The more time I spent in the movie, the more i got captivated by the storyline.
The movie was successful at mirroring many improper practices that go on in our present society. The movie was spot on at activating some very strong emotional reactions. To put it in another way, if you are an emotional or sensitive person it’s advisable you brace yourself before watching the movie because you might be surprised at your emotional response to the movie. In terms of the performance of the characters, the main characters did a superb job of interpreting their characters and roles in the movie.
The two main characters, Ova and Memo had the perfect level of understanding and rapport. The chemistry makes you imagine things while watching them play the character. As a father or a young man, you lay on your couch and begin to imagine what you would do if you were in Memo’s position faced with the possibility of not seeing your child again. I, for one, could not help but wish that there would be a plot twist where Ova’s mum appears as a wealthy influential woman and take care of the little girl.
In terms of cinematography, I’m particularly impressed by the scenes that captured closeup shots of the father-daughter relationship. It really highlighted their emotions causing the audience to literally feel their joy and pain. Honestly, I found myself sheepishly smiling and at other times breaking a tear.
My favorite part of this movie was the part where Ova pointed to the cloud and asked her father what it was and he said “a sheep”, she pointed to the sky and he said “another sheep with smaller ears”, pointed to a rock and he replied “a one-eyed giant”. Finally, apart from the strong emotional storyline of Miracle in a cell no 7 that sort of appealed to our emotional sentiments the movie was somewhat void of anything spectacular.
My rating 60/100
I would love to know what you think about the movie in the comment section.