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Fantasia 17: “A Day” (2017) ★★★★★


There are countless number of movies about having a day repeating itself. It’s when a certain character must go through all sort of challenges to fix the day and make it better. Whether that person will succeed or not is up to the screenplay. But regardless, it’s an excellent opportunity for us to have looked at something from a different perspective as an audience as well. But what you might have not seen yet is why the day keeps reappearing again… why someone must relive the death of his own child over and over again? There are many answers I tried to guess, and you might as well, but what this outstanding and simply brilliant Korean drama A Day has offered was something none of us will ever prepare for…

A celebrated surgeon Jun-young (Kim Myung-Min) after a long journey eagerly looks forward to seeing his daughter Eun-jung (Jo Eun-hyung). It’s her birthday and they have set a time when they should meet, at that is at noon. The time shows 9:58 AM when the airplane lands on Seoul’s soil. On his way to exit the airport, he finds a little boy who almost died, if not for his immediate assistance. On his way to meeting his child, he finds a taxi car in a fatal accident which left a passenger in the behind seat dead. Trying to save at least the driver’s life, Jun-young calls his daughter to apologize for being late, but through the chaotic noises  that comes from her phone he realizes that by looking across the street she herself lays down lifeless on the ground, right after when the same car hits her to death.

Luckily, it appeared as a horrible nightmare when the notable surgeon wakes up, still in the airplane. But the relief he had does not last long as the feeling of deja vu continues up until when he saves the boy’s life I mentioned above. That’s when he understands what if the dream he saw was true? However, only after having his daughter died again from the same cause and waking up after the nightmare, Jun-young begins his chase against time that he had no control over. Whatever he does, no matter how fast he is, he is always seconds late before saving Eun-jung’s life. But the surprise comes with another mysterious person, who appears to have the same dream, and the woman who dies in the taxi cab was his wife. Two men will try to do impossible thing to force time to obey… But there is only one fact the two had no idea about… That things which happened had its own reasons… and before they prevent a tragedy from happening… they must learn the real reason first…

A Day, written and directed by Sun-ho Cho is a movie that will force you to think about time and life itself the way they have never done before. It gives an idea what does seconds mean, why caring, loving and not delaying spending time with a loved one is very important. To realize that there is no need to have Jun-young’s experience because he identifies his mistakes and learns from them in a hard way. The point of A Day which is truly thought-provoking is – what needs to be done today can be postponed until tomorrow. Anything which does not have heart might be able to wait. But when it comes to human beings, that’s where we all must be more attentive. And that’s where a single day will do more than entire week, and Sun-ho Cho’s movie is proof of that.

Indeed, A Day is a movie that will turn any idle mind to analytical. It will trigger something special in every viewer. It is like a medicine that cures laziness and disrespect towards time. It shows the power of one day that can provide everything you want. This movie will show you the things you would not expect… But it’s educational enough to get up after the movie, invite the family over or go out, buy an ice cream and enjoy the fresh air. Because that’s where the happiness lies… in today… that can be lived only once….

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