Will “Dream” succeed in reviving the Korean film industry that has suffered a slump for a long time?
Directed by PD Lee Byeong Heon, “Dream” tells the story of conceptless former football player Hong Dae (Park Seo Joon) and passionless PD So Min (Lee Ji Eun) challenging impossible dreams with the national football team of homeless people.
“Dream” marks Park Seo Joon’s comeback on the big screen four years after “The Divine Fury” and IU’s debut movie, which she filmed even before “Broker”. Above all, the participation of director Lee Byeong Heon, who was behind the success of “Be Melodramatic”, “Cheer Up Mr. Lee”, “Twenty” and the box office hit “Extreme Job”, has raised viewers’ expectations for the premiere of this new film.
Based on the true story of the Korean national team players who participated in the 2010 Homeless World Cup, “Dream” is written by director Lee Byeong Heon before his 2015 work “Twenty”. The football match content is almost the same as in real life, but the characters in the film were created with the director’s imagination. After all the twists and turns, “Dream” is finally being released after 10 years.
In fact, you shouldn’t expect “Dream” to be an exciting sports movie with thrilling football matches. The film actually revolves around the stories of those who hit rock bottom in their lives, which, in short, are homeless people who have no home or family.
Hong Dae, who is forced to become a coach as a result of several incidents, and passionless PD So Min take on the task of creating a national team football team for the Homeless World Cup. The selection process lacks authenticity, giving the feeling of watching a reality show like “Superstar K”.
However, as they begin to understand why the homeless players want to play football and why they don’t give up on the competition through various human-to-human interactions, Hong Dae and So Min gradually change their attitudes. This process includes touching scenes, as well as Hong Dae and Som-in’s bickering moments. Additionally, there are unique dialogues and witty remarks that represent the unique directing style of PD Lee Byeong Heon.
Although this is the first time Park Seo Joon and IU work together, they perfectly lead the drama with their stable acting and amazing chemistry. In particular, Park Seo Joon’s portrayal of a football player was so well-done that rumors of him using CG even arose. His pleasant charm reminded the audience of his appearance in “Midnight Runners”.
In addition, actors who played members of the homeless football team, such as Kim Jong Soo, Go Chang Seok, Jung Seung Gil, Lee Hyun Woo, Yang Hyun Min, Hong Wan Pyo, and Heo Joon Seok, all performed their parts perfectly, from emotional acting to soccer scenes.
However, as the film chose to focus on a “milder” tone instead of a “spicy” and thrilling story, its predictable storyline is a weakness. There are no dramatic conflicts between the characters, no significant plot twists and the ending is also not going to give a big surprise. Given that “Dream” is director Lee’s new release following successful works, some people are worrying that it may fall slightly short of expectations.
“Dream” is said to have various elements to become a box office hit, including the splendid casting of top stars Park Seo Joon and IU, ‘10-million viewers’ director Lee Byeong Heon’s directing skills, and the touching original story it is based on. With various advantages, movie fans are looking forward to seeing whether this work will be able to revive the current sluggish performance of Korean films.
With a running time of 125 minutes, “Dream” will be released in theaters on April 26th.