I have always very openly expressed my love and passion for whatever it is that fascinates me in my present, be it the time when Avril Lavigne came out with Complicated and I thought she was the coolest counter-narrative of femininity or when I sought meaning and inspiration in my life through U2 lyrics.
Well, my recent affair has been the Korean culture, since about two years, something that I have painfully made my mother and a lot of other people I know sit through in the form of a drama episode, or my constant blabbing about my crushes on Lee Min Ho, Jang Geun Suk, or Jung Yong Hwa . It of course, does make me feel embarrassed on occasion but when I am interested in something, I live, breathe, think and rationalize the passion and at every phase of my life, at least I seem to understand why I care about it. Some people probably think I’m crazy, overly-obsessed and a little crazy but well, what’s more important is that it is a trait I have and it represents who I is am as a human.
Regardless, this was just a little background to help understand what I am about to write about. So since we have established my Korean craze, let me explain that when I have a favourite actor/actress, I tend to watch all the dramas/films they’ve ever starred in. So one of my favourite actresses has to be Park Shin Hye for her recurrent endearing and relatable roles, despite how there’s a repetitive pattern in her work.
Ever since I got done with university, I was bent on watching the films she has come in, and hence, I watched Miracle in Room No.7 but when somebody asked me what it was about, it turns out that it’s the exact same premise as I Am Sam even though they deal with the issue of parents with developmental disabilities rather differently.
Essentially the way that the issue was dealt with had much to do with the culture and society both films were set in. While I Am Sam dealt with the legality of a disabled parent raising a child, Miracle in Room No. 7 was more about a helpless parent getting caught at the scene of an accident and made responsible for a crime he never committed.
The way that Young-Gu from Miracle is treated by the authorities shows the disregard and carelessness regarding helpless people in most Asian societies. Even though, his jail-mates do warm up to him and we see a lot of good-natured police officers, the overriding theme has to be the corruption that is prevalent in the higher echelons of most organizations (an idea greatly explored in dramas such as A New Leaf and You’re All Surrounded). As for Park Shinhye’s role as YeSung, even though her role appears to be small, she does a great job at it. One thing the actress can do well is crying and she does it in a way that really tugs at your Heartstrings. Other than that, seeing her in a more professional environment was a breath of fresh air and it’s probably the only role where I actually saw her stand up for herself and you admire her for how far she goes to restore her father’s tarnished image.
Going back to I Am Sam, the story ended on a much happier note and I enjoyed seeing how the disabled Sam actually matures despite his weaknesses and his relationship with Lucy, his daughter has to be the most adorable. His The Beatles’ logic even though quite childish always tugged at me and I must say that the way his daughter realizes and accepts her father for who he is is much to learn from. Most children these days are embarrassed of their parents and wish they didn’t act the way they do and then you see this five-year-old who accepts her father and still loves him, is deeply heartening.
The one topic where both the films converge is the relationship of love and friendship that exists between both fathers with their daughters. The fact that they make a good team and are inseparable does truly make one wonder if only love can help raise children or is there truly need for money and fancy houses to raise one’s children. These fathers surely seem to show that there’s a lot more to a relationship than just the material needs and sometimes everything in the world can not fill the gap that is created when separated from a parent.