[Movie Review] Miracle: Letters to the President

K-Popped! recently had the opportunity to watch one of Korea’s latest big screen hits – Miracle: Letters to the President. Starring Girls’ Generations’s Lim Yoon-ah (Hush), Park Jeong-min (Hellbound),  Lee Sung-min (Money Game, Misaeng) and Lee Soo-kyung (Law School), Miracle is based on the true story of Korean mathematics genius Joon-kyeong.

Set in a remote village in Gyeongsang Province during the 80’s, the film centres around Joon-kyeong’s quest to get the President of Korea to let the villagers build a way-station for the trains that pass by their village, by sending the President letters.

Park Jeong-min and Lee Sung-min in Miracle: Letters to the President.

So remote is the village, that the villagers risk certain death when following the train tracks to the nearest station (which is at least 3 tunnels away), with Joon-kyeong (Park Jeong-min) travelling almost five hours to reach his school. A near-death incident from when he was a child (played by popular child actor Kim Kang-hoon, Racket Boys, When the Camellia Blooms) kick starts Joon-kyeong’s mission to build a way station.

A maths prodigy since young, Joon-kyeong is supported by his loving and sassy older sister Bo-kyeong (Lee Soo-kyung), and his ‘muse’ and classmate Ra-hee (Yoon-ah), both of whom recognise his extraordinary talent for numbers, despite his oddball behaviour and awkward social skills.

While Joon-kyeong initially shows no interest in Ra-hee, she persists in getting to know him and supporting his dreams.

However, despite his talent, his train driver father Tae-yoon (Lee Sung-min) remains uninterested in his son’s life or his maths skills, which is not helped by the time spent away from home as he works long shifts. While Joon-kyeong works to improve the lives of the villagers, whether by building a makeshift ‘traffic sign’ or by writing to the President, Tae-yoon keeps himself at a distance.

Ahhh, teenage love. Ra-hee (SNSD’s Yoon-ah) and Joon-kyeong (Park Jung-min) are awkward highschool classmates.

Miracle: Letters to the President boasts a strong cast – once we heard veteran actor Lee Sung-min was in, we knew we had to watch – with supporting actors including Jung Moon-sung (Hospital Playlist), Yoo Seung-mok (Voice), and a cameo from Ko Chang-seok (Memorist).

The film is a mixture of romance, comedy and tear-jerking moments, especially towards the end of the film where the stoic, distant facade of Joon-kyeong’s ‘by the book’ father crumbles. It’s a feel-good story with a happy ending, and it was lovely to hear the Gyeongsang-do satoori spoken throughout the film.

Want to watch Miracle: Letters to the President? The movie will be made available on Astro, unifi TV and Media Prima per-per-view VOD section from 01 December onwards.

 

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