Dream (Deurim, 2023) Movie Review: Dream is directed by director Lee Byeong Hoon. The film is based on the real-life story of the Homeless Football World Cup 2003. The movie is about a football player Yoon Hong-dae (Park Seo-Joon), who gets into a scandal and is suspended from the sport. He gets an opportunity to be a part of the documentary set-up to manage his reputation and document the homeless football world cup. He becomes the coach of a homeless team and takes them overseas to participate in the tournament.
Unlike serious sports films, Dream uses humor throughout. Dream has two big stars as their lead, Park Seo-Joon, and IU, so the expectations for the film were high from the beginning, but the film slightly disappoints you. For a comedic sports genre film, the movie was extremely slow. Despite trying to add humor, the movie did not nail the action needed for the movie, nor was it successful with top-class humor. The audience is filled with adrenaline only towards the end of the film.
Park Seo-Joon plays the role of the footballer and a coach for the homeless. As a prominent actor, something needed to be added throughout the film. Toward the end of the film, when he needs to pull the team together as the coach, he falls flat, acting as if the right emotions did not come through. His comedic acting was slightly better than the serious performance. IU (Lee So-min) plays the director of the documentary.
In comparison, IU did a better job in acting. Her comedic timing, anger, and intense scenes were done well, but IU has performed better. Her emotional/ vulnerable scenes did not do justice; otherwise, she carried her role well. The actors who played the homeless did a fantastic job. They each had distinct characters, and they carried their role well. But towards the end, they slightly went off the mark when the time came to show sporty aggressiveness and passion.
The acting, the editing, and everything in the film fell flat. The highs and lows were distinct but failed to deliver in terms of impact on the audience. While the film used tracking and zoom shots during the football games, the editing could have been done better to show the pain, joy, or emotion the player felt. They could have also used some slow-motion shots in certain scenes during gameplay to make the viewers sit on the edge of their couch!
The film setting in terms of lighting, editing, and the way it was shot is slightly confusing as through lighting and set design and locations, they have tried to keep it simplistic and realistic the way you would shoot a documentary, but throughout the movie, we also see dramatic behaviors of the characters (as that’s the role they were asked to play) which does not fit right in with the light-hearted mood that is set. The storytelling was more suited for a commercial film.
The film’s highlight was the messaging, irrespective of the delivery of the thought and the message intended for audiences. Through the film, we become aware of the Homeless World Cup, and the real-life Homeless World Cup is conducted to advocate the end of homelessness. The film has subtle, inspiring themes and messages besides the main message. The film advocates the power of teamwork.
Like most sports films, teamwork is an essential theme, but in this Underdog to Greatness film, the idea of non-football players, each playing for a different cause who doesn’t have a great idea about the game, come together as a team in the end to achieve greatness. The other empowering message you receive at the film’s end is that “all you need is one win, one chance, or one breakthrough.” The struggles for everyone are real, but that one door that opens to greatness can turn your life around! This is one of the most empowering messages the film gives us!
Dream also portrays sports as a powerful tool for a social cause. The film also did touch upon the challenges the homeless go through in various areas of life and how they are discriminated in so many levels. This is an easygoing film that has some intense scenes in the end. A great film to watch, especially if you like storylines with the underdog to-success arc. The film occasionally brings in smiles and intense messaging at the end. If you are a sports fan who enjoys sports films with more storytelling and less action, then you must definitely watch the film.