This week’s Film Friday features the critically and highly acclaimed 2013 movie ‘Wish’ (a.k.a. ‘Hope’). Directed by Joon-ik Lee, infamous for directing and producing the hit ‘The King and the Clown’ released in 2005, this tragic drama is painfully refreshing as it challenges family relationships and the South Korean justice system.
WARNING: This film contains very sensitive content but I highly recommend it.
‘Wish’ is a partially true story of an eight year old girl who is left for dead after being brutally and violently attacked by a drunkard on her way to school. Although initially challenging and tough to watch, the narrative focuses on the rebuilding of family values and relationships. This isn’t a typical Friday night watch but for anyone interested in drama fueled by powerful characterisation and a shocking but serene narrative… this is for you. I cannot describe how beautiful this film is through the emotion in the dialogue to the soundtrack which perfectly captures that emotion. It’s an outstanding film that leaves you blurry-eyed but allows you to see, with such clarity, the raw narrative and powerful messages conveyed. Although this film is gritty and tough to watch, it focuses on the family relationships rather than being solely concerned with justice and exploitation. Predominantly, it focuses on the beautiful relationship between father and daughter which is challenged throughout.
The performances from Kyung-gu Sol (the father) and Uhm Ji-Won (the mother) are so powerfully moving and drive the emotional narrative through to the end. In my opinion, the star performance is delivered by Lee Re, (‘Hope’) who is exceptional in depicting the trauma imposed on an innocent child. Let’s not forget she was seven years old when it was filmed. Considering the horrific tragedy prevalent throughout, the film is uplifting and ‘hopeful’.
‘Wish’ received three awards and numerous nominations. It won Best Actor (Kyung-gu Sol) at the Baek Sang Art Awards 2014 and won Best Supporting Actress (Ra Mi-ran) and Best Film, beating the globally popular picture, ‘Snowpiercer’ at the 34th Blue Dragon Awards.
It was also shown at the 2013 London Korean Film Festival which proves how acclaimed this film is worldwide.
Check out the trailer below. It is truly a masterpiece in South Korean cinema.