Miracle In Cell No. 7 [2020] ★★½

“Miracle in Cell No. 7” is a difficult movie for me to review. On one hand, it celebrates the bond between father and daughter in a sweet and uplifting way. On the other hand, it didn’t affect me the way I was hoping it would (I could also say it was manipulative and shamelessly sentimental at times but that’s another story). Based on a 2013 Korean movie of the same name, the story follows Memo, a mentally disabled father who is wrongfully accused of a crime he didn’t commit. His 6 year-old daughter doesn’t understand why her father has to go away to prison, which leads to a series of dramatic events. This is delicate territory, and the people behind this Turkish film (now a huge Netflix hit) tread carefully, at least at first. On his journey, Memo intersects with many characters, who sympathize with his situation. So far so good. But after a while, the writers send the movie hurtling off a cliff into soap opera. Either you accept that, or this film clearly isn’t for you. But even with all its faults, “Miracle in Cell No. 7” has a universal story that I’m sure many viewers will respond to. In these troubled times, that might be enough.

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