Friends and foes, you may have heard of the latest Netflix flick “Miracle in Cell No. 7”, that has been contributing to –a tad bit of –the world’s current emotional turmoil. The Mehmet Ada-directed Turkish drama is an adaptation of a South Korean original of the same name. Whereas it lacks a definite Tomato score (enough critic ratings) on Rotten Tomatoes, it has an overwhelming audience rating of 84%, terming it fresh! Now, a friend informed me that this was a film worth crying over and true to myself, I was up to the task.
“Miracle in Cell No. 7” opens with a mentally ill dad, Memo (Aras Bulut Iynemli) and his six-year-old daughter, Ova (Nisa Sofiya Aksongur) who desires a backpack he cannot afford. He promises to sell enough sweets the following day to get it for her as a gift. However, on the material day, the bag is purchased by another girl, Seda, whose father is a military commander. Seeing his daughter’s disappointment, Memo pleads with the commander to sell the backpack to him but the latter humiliatingly strikes him to the ground.
A few days later while herding, Memo and little Seda cross paths again. Seda, having the backpack on her, taunts Memo into getting it from her. She happily leads him onto the hilly edges where she slips, hits her head on a rock and succumbs. This, despite Memo’s constant warnings. Distraught over what happened, the commander finds Memo holding his daughter’s lifeless body and gets him arrested for murder. He is taken to court soon after and a death sentence is pronounced almost immediately. A case of justice served? I don’t think so.
Ova, with her unmatchable fighting spirit and help of her great grandmother, sets out on a mission to have him exonerated by looking for the “one-eyed giant”, to whom Memo describes as a witness. This “giant” (lol, just a skinny individual guys), is later identified as a deserter hiding in the mountains. But due to his being discovered by her, he flees (It should be noted that I honestly felt bad for the little missy).
Memo on the other hand finds it hard in prison. As if a death sentence was not enough, fellow inmates turn against him because they “cannot stand a child killer”. His “pea brain” clearly does not register any emotional distress with the inmates, as he saves Askorozlu (Ilker Aksum) from an inside assassin, getting himself knifed instead.
This act of “heroism” (can never be me) changes the prisoners’ perception of him. His loving side also draws their attention when he randomly plays with birds, admits to giving his flock of sheep human names and his obviously funny childlike character. With all this, the warden, CSO and fellow prisoners (God bless their souls) team up to swap him and another cellmate, Yusuf Aga just minutes to the execution. Yes, that is the miracle! The uplifting emotional flick ends with the warden and CSO sneaking Memo and Ova out of the region in the dead of night on a boat.
In as much as this film was overwhelmingly top-notch, some aspects of it simply did not make sense. First, Yusuf’s role in the movie was only realized at the very tail end. Prior to that, his constant looking at drawing resembling a tree was unnecessary in my opinion.
Great grandmother’s death also raked up some emotions. To date, I fail to understand why she had to succumb to the heart attack. If it was only for the teacher to come in and “save the situation”, then she should not have been part of the cast in the first place. Lastly, the teacher! I mean, if she and Memo were not going to give us the well-deserved happy ending family scenario, I still maintain that her role in the movie was blown out of proportion. Still, she deserves a standing ovation for taking care of Ova while Memo was in jail.
“Miracle in Cell No. 7” rightfully deserves the 8.3 IMDB rating! Check out the trailer;