20 December 2021

K Movie Review: Miracle: Letters to the President (2021) 4.2 || 4.5

It's been a while since our last Yoon Ah movie. Oppa has been bugging me to watch this one. And now that we're all caught up with our on-air dramas and reviews, we finally found the time to watch this. 


Miracle tells the story of a community's quest in the '80s to build a train station in their area. People walked on train tracks and tunnels to get to other places and a number of people have died because of this. The mission to build a train station is most personal to Jung Joon Kyeong (Park Jeong Min of Reply 1988). First, he lost his mother because there was no train to take her to a hospital after she suffered complications from giving birth to Joon Kyeong. Second, he lost his sister Jung Bo Kyeong (Lee Soo Kyung of Law School and Reply 1988) when she fell to a river while avoiding a train as she tried to catch her brother's math competition trophy. The movie takes us through how Joon Kyeong rallies and leads his neighbors in finally solving their community's public transportation woes. 

Park Jeong Min as Jung Joon Kyeong

I didn't realize Park Jeong Min played Bo Ra's (Ryu Hye Young of Reply 1988 and Law School) boyfriend in Reply 1988. In any case, he had a very small role there so I was not able to fully appreciate his acting. But I loved him here. He was perfect as the geek and awkward Joon Kyeong who wanted nothing but to solve his community's commuting problem. He held himself back in achieving his dreams even if he was very competent because he could not leave his people to continue suffering. I especially loved him when he was acting all clueless about everything - his intelligence, his lovelife, etc. He was great in his dramatic scenes too, especially when he had to say goodbye to his sister and father. Park Jeong Min was probably one of the biggest reasons why this movie was great. 

Lee Soo Kyung as Jung Bo Kyeong 

Oppa advertised this movie as one starring Yoon Ah. However, as we watched the movie, we realized that she was mostly absent during the middle part of the film. In my opinion, it was actually Lee Soo Kyung who starred in the movie. She was great in Law School but I liked her even better here. She was perfect as a doting and caring elder sister to Joon Kyeong. I loved the scenes where she was pushing her brother to leave even if it was painful for her as well. I hope Lee Soo Kyung gets more breaks in the future because she's very promising. 

Lee Sung Min as Jung Tae Yoon 

We watched Lee Sung Min fairly recent in Misaeng. And while his character here as Joon Kyeong and Bo Kyeong's father was quite similar to his fatherly role in Misaeng, he was still great as usual. He probably even showcased more dramatic depth here - when his wife and Bo Kyeong died and when he and Joon Kyeong finally had their much needed closure about their past. He didn't need many lines to convey that although he always appeared tough and strong for his son, he cared for him and the misfortunes they suffered also hurt him. I know Oppa has another Lee Sung Min movie lined up for us and I can't wait to see greater stuff from him. 

Yoon Ah as Song Ra Hee

I'm pretty sure Oppa was disappointed to find out that Yoon Ah had very limited screen time here - mostly during the start and end of the movie. She was sent off to Seoul to study so she was not there during most parts of the movie. But she still did great nonetheless. As Joon Kyeong's classmate, she was instrumental in pushing him to pursue his dream of building a train station for his community. I loved Yoon Ah's well-balanced cuteness and feistiness. She even had a bit of dramatic scenes here when she left for Seoul crying because Joon Kyeong did not join her. This was probably the best Yoon Ah movie I've seen after watching her in Exit and Confidential Assignment. I'm looking forward to her 2022 drama so we can see her in something longer. 


The story worked for me because it was simple yet it was entertaining - injecting drama, comedy, romance, and even social relevance. I loved how the community worked together to achieve their common goal of building a train station in their area. They were proof that we don't always need the government to get things done. If the government turns a blind eye to the people's suffering then we can always try to do something to make things better. 

Apart from the people working together to build the train station, my next favorite part of the film was Joon Kyeong's relationship with his sister. That twist about Bo Kyeong being a ghost, which was revealed around halfway into the movie, was great. That made their relationship even more bittersweet, both endearing and heartbreaking. Their parting scene was very well-executed. I really felt how difficult it was for them to say goodbye and their love for each other knowing that it was the best thing for both of them. 

And of course Joon Kyeong and Ra Hee's relationship. Though they were only together for a very limited time, I loved how heartfelt their relationship was and how they helped and encouraged each other in pursuing their dreams. 

Although there were only a number of actors in this movie, they all did great no matter how small their roles were. I would have to say though that adding Letters to the President to the title is quite a misnomer. The letters Joon Kyeong sent to the President did not really bring about the miracle. It was the villagers' concerted effort, led by Joon Kyeong, that was miraculous. 

Over all, the movie was great, managing to be both entertaining and relevant. 

Oppa says...4.2

Noona says...4.5.