Miss Granny and Oh! Baby are two films based on one storyline: A woman in her 70s is magically transformed into her younger self after having her picture taken at a mysterious photo studio.
I saw “Oh! Baby” and loved it. Learning more about the film it turns out it is a remake of the Korean Movie “Miss Granny” which I didn’t see at that point. The main plot is the same with some changes. Cultural traits were added to give it an Indian touch.
Now when it comes to how many remakes exist of Miss Granny, you realize how popular this concept is that it is adopted by many film industries including the Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Thai, Indonesian, and Filipino film industries. And it wouldn’t surprise me that others are planning to adopt it.
So, this time we don’t have several versions of the same movie from the same country in different languages, like the previous THE 3 CASES: TEMPER | SIMMBA | AYOGYA and THANI ORUVAN | DHRUVA | ONE, but two versions from different countries with different cultures.
MISS GRANNY (2014)
Miss Granny is a 2014 South Korean fantasy-comedy-drama film written by Dong-ik Shin, Yun-jeong Hong and, Hee-seon Dong, and directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk. The film was produced by Jae-sun Jeon,Park Ji-seong, Lee Jae-pil and, Im Ji-young. The film stars Moon-hee Na, and Shim Eun-kyung in the leading roles with In-hwan Park, Dong-il Sung, Lee Jin-Wook in supporting roles. The music is composed by Lee Sung-hyun.
WHERE TO WATCH
The movie can be watched on Netflix.
ABOUT THE STORY
In this section, I will share with you how I understood the story with subtitles. Yes, there are going to be major spoilers but I think it’s important to share this perspective because sometimes things can get lost in translation or cultural differences may have an impact on how one interprets the story. I think it’s unfair when this happens with critics that are very quick to judge. Especially with foreign cinema, audiences tend to rely on critics and influencers that sometimes have their own biases or even have no idea about what they are reviewing.
Eventually, I think it’s better to watch it and make your own assessment. Sometimes rewatching is necessary. Afterward, it’s fun to compare with these “critics and influencers” and see how much they got wrong. There is always something. Now, let’s get into the story…
We meet Oh Mal-soon, a 74-year-old widow that lives with her son and his family. She has a difficult personality and a difficult relationship with her depressed daughter-in-law Ae-ja. She is very proud of her son Hyun-chul, who became a university professor of gerontology after she raised him all by herself. When Ae-ja collapses and gets hospitalized, her doctors strongly advise her to live apart from Mal-soon.
The day after her son tells her that she is being sent to a nursing home, Mal-soon wanders the streets heartbroken and comes across a mysterious photo studio that claims to capture the moments of one’s youth. Thinking about her funeral she decides to take her last self-portrait but when she comes out of the studio, Mal-soon is surprised by her own reflection in the mirror: she’s now a fresh, young 20-year-old woman.
She hides from her family and soon ends up living with her fellow café shop worker, Mr. Park, who used to be a servant of her family. Mal-soon decides to make the most out of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. She renames herself Oh Doo-ri after her all-time favorite actress Audrey Hepburn, gets a haircut similar to Hepburn’s in Roman Holiday, and takes advantage of her youth.
Doo-ri stands out as she speaks with a regional accent, walks like an old lady, and acts very strangely and motherly for her age. After wowing a group of pensioners with a stirring karaoke tune one day, she attracts the attention of her unknowing grandson Ji-ha, a 4th year in university, and Han Seung-woo, a TV music producer. Ji-ha invites her to join his heavy metal band, and after she convinces them to switch to more audience-pleasing melodies.
She gets caught romantically between Mr. Park, who had always secretly loved Mal-soon, and Seung-woo, who’s doing his best to track her down again. Mr. Park’s daughter forces her out as she thinks Doo-ri is after his money and she takes refuge in Mr. Han’s apartment.
Meanwhile, the band becomes successful with her as a vocalist and Seung-woo decides to take them under his wing. Doo-ri is thrilled to be pursuing a career in music which is something that she had to give up when she was young. They are booked to perform at the studio and Ji-ha is late due to a traffic jam. He decides to leave the taxi and bike but is hit by a lorry on the way there. He is in critical condition at the hospital but Doo-ri decides to go on stage with the intention to make her grandson successful.
When she arrives at the hospital her grandson is in critical condition and needs a specific blood type that she has. However, if she gives up her blood she would transform back into her old self. She does the blood transfusion knowing that it would return her back to her old self.
Ji-ha’s band takes off with the sister as the lead singer and Mal-soon as a fan. Mr. Park finds the same photo studio and transforms. He picks Mal-soon up at a bus stop and rides off bickering good-naturedly as they always do.
The movie is very entertaining. The concept may be outdated but the story isn’t. The influence of Korean culture gives it a unique style. The story is engaging, the music is nice, and the acting is good. It works on your emotions, and I like the message to let go of the things you can’t change and do the best you can in the present with things you can change. Also, it brings up the discussion on retirement homes. Are they really the best and only option?
My Rating: 7/10
OH! BABY (2019)
Oh! Baby is a 2019 Indian Telugu-language fantasy comedy-drama musical film directed by B. V. Nandini Reddy and produced by D. Suresh Babu, Sunitha Tati, T. G. Vishwa Prasad, and Hyunwoo Thomas Kim. The film stars Samantha Akkineni and Lakshmi in leading roles with Naga Shaurya, Rajendra Prasad, Rao Ramesh, and Sajja Teja in supporting roles. It is a remake of the 2014 South Korean film Miss Granny adding the Indian touch with dancing sequences with music from the soundtrack composed by Mickey J. Meyer and released on Aditya Music company.
WHERE TO WATCH
The movie can be watched on Netflix.
ABOUT THE STORY
Same as with Miss Granny, in this section I will share with you how I interpreted the story with subtitles.
Professor Shekhar explains the behavior of old people and talks about his mother Savitry also called Baby who has a canteen business in the same college which is co-owned by her childhood friend Chanti. She projects her unfulfilled dream of becoming a great singer on her grandson Rocky. She has a difficult relationship with her daughter-in-law Madhavi. When Madhavi gets a heart attack, she does not want to live with Baby. The doctors agree.
Being aware of the situation, Baby leaves the house, and accuses God of her fate. On her way, her son calls her for his first music performance at an exhibition. There God appears in front of her in the form of a saint, presents her with a statue of Lord Ganesha, and says that it will change her fate.
Later she finds a photo studio where she wants to get a good photograph to publish in the newspaper after her death. The photographer promises she will be beautiful, and after taking the picture, miraculously she turns into a 20-year-old herself. She is stunned when God appears in front of her, while praising Lord Shiva and tells her that this new life is given to fill her with joy and enlightenment.
She decides to live at Chanti’s house and changed her name to Swathi. She starts a new life, and teams up with her grandson Rocky and becomes a part of his band. In the meantime, Chanti realizes that Swathi herself is Baby and offers his support. Then we meet Vikram, the head of a music company, who likes Swathi’s voice and gives her band an opportunity. Swathi is supportive of Rocky and encourages him to do his best for the competition.
Vikram and Swathi spend a lot of time together, and she too starts to like him. Vikram proposes to Swathi when she is completely under dichotomy. At the same time, Chanti learns that if Baby loses her blood, she will go back to being an old lady. Rocky meets with an accident on the last day of the competition. Knowing this, Swathi still decides to participate and wins.
Knowing that Ricky met with an accident, Swathi rushes to the hospital leaving a letter for Vikram basically breaking up with him in a friendly way. By this time Shekhar also realizes that she is his mother. Reaching the hospital, she finds out that Rocky needs AB-type blood which Swathi donates despite the refusal of Chanti and Shekhar. She states that she is first and foremost Shekhar’s mother and would always be there for him and his children. When she does this, she transforms into her old self.
When she goes back home, her family also realizes her value and she in turn is also more friendly with them. Later, we see them enjoying a performance by Rocky. In the end, we see that God transformed Chanti into a young man, who comes to pick up Baby.
Oh! Baby is a joy to watch. It’s a little bit less emotional than Miss Granny and more uplifting. At least that’s how I see it. The story is indeed basically the same but played in an Indian cultural and religious setting which differentiates it from the original. A nursing home is not a thing in Indian culture as far as I know so that is not included in the story, and I actually liked the religious part where she is talking to god. Reminds me of my late grandmother who did the same in certain situations.
My Rating: 7/10
GIVING THEM A CHANCE
One day I was randomly scrolling through Netflix when I saw Oh! Baby. It was easy to give it a chance because of Samantha. I have seen Samantha’s work before like Majili. She has done different types of roles which makes her interesting to watch. This looks like a different role and another promising female protagonist role. This time I did not bother to look into reviews and just got into it. I had a great time watching it. Knowing that it’s based on the Korean movie ” Miss Granny” made me curious to watch that one as well.
Miss Granny and Oh! Baby are both feel-good family-friendly films. Miss Granny brings up the discussion on nursing homes specifically. When the elder still has all is capabilities is it fair to put them in a nursing home just because it is inconvenient for their kids to live with them? Oh! Baby displays what happens in cultures where the parents and grandparents live together with their children and their spouses. It is difficult to resolve conflicts, but it is not impossible to change the situation. We only have one life to live. Let’s try to do the best we can to live a good life.
Interested in more? Let’s keep an eye on Alternative Entertainment!
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