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Move to Heaven (2021)

[KO-Drama] « Move to Heaven » (2021) – 10 episodes – Netflix

I really wanted to give my opinion on this drama that touched my heart. Each episode is a nugget of happiness, and these nuggets are each filled with very touching messages, rich in emotions. I have always been sensitive to people’s personal stories and the meaning they give to their lives. Here it highlighted the personal story of the deceased and the bereaved who are also the protagonists of the drama. At the same time it made me discover the job of post-traumatic cleaner that I did not know at all: they clean the house of the deceased. I found this job honorable because it allows to relieve the bereaved people to help them to live well their mourning.

“Move to Heaven” is the name of a family business that specializes in cleaning homes after a death and sorting out important personal belongings to be given to the family. This company is run by Han Jeong-Woo the father and Han Geu-Ru the son. The son is a young man like no other as he is autistic, he has Asperger’s syndrome. Following the sudden death of the father, Geu Ru was put under the guardianship of his uncle Cho Sang-Gu, a man recently released from prison who accepts this role of guardian guided by bad intentions. However, he is on probation and has to assist Geu-Ru in the family business. It is through their small missions that Sang-Gu will discover the true essence of “Move to Heaven” but without knowing it will transform him.

Move to Heaven is not a cleaning company like the others because they don’t just clean and throw away the stuff. This is where I discovered the human dimension of this drama. So I explain you the reasons why I was conquered!

In addition I had the pleasant surprise to see three actors that I like very much together in the same drama! I invite you to watch the dramas that made me like these actors. I did not recognize immediately the actor Lee Je-Hoon, his acting is even better in “Move to Heaven”.

Actor Lee Moon Shik

  • Movie ” Daddy Fly Daddy ” (2006)
  • Drama ” Iljimae ” (2008)
In the role of Park Ju-Taek,
collection and sorting of waste

Actor Ji Jin-Hee

Drama “Dong Yi” (2010)

In the role of Han Jeong-Woo, the father

Actor Lee Je-Hoon

Drama “Signal” (2016)

In the role of Cho Sang-Gu, the uncle

Geu-Ru, the mirror effect

First of all, I was touched by this character Geu-Ru, he immediately reminded me of Forrest Gump, this authentic, honest and sincere side. Geu-Ru is a gifted autistic person because he has this ability to memorize everything, an ability that is useful to solve puzzles related to his work.

He is the object of much mockery because of his difference. But he is not alone, his father has always defended and protected him. His best friend is Yoon Na-Moo who hangs out with him a lot while his mother doesn’t appreciate Geu-Ru because of his handicap. She defends him tooth and nail and even spies on the uncle’s actions to gauge if he is acting as a good guardian or not. Moreover I liked when Na-Moo explains to Sang-Gu that Geu-Ru is not stupid with anger: “He is not stupid, he is different! His difference can put him in danger, he is too kind, innocent, sincere”.

There are quite a few dialogues that are hard-hitting and give us food for thought, at least we see that it always shakes Sang-Gu. I could clearly see that Geu-Ru’s authenticity and honesty has an impact on the way Sang-Gu perceives the world and himself. For example I really liked their exchange following their mission where the deceased was a homosexual. Geu-Ru was disturbed because two beautiful people who love each other, he did not understand why the parents did not accept their love.

Geu-Ru: It is sad to prevent people from loving each other, what is shameful about love?

Sang-Gu: That’s how parents always worry about their children, especially those who are out of the ordinary. Kind of like you. I’m sure he’s worried.

Geu-Ru: My father is never ashamed of me. I know that because no matter what, he always defended me.

Geu-Ru’s authentic and sincere personality brings to light the plague of today’s society. This society, in the image of the individuals who compose it, mistreats and rejects people who do not look or think like them. This is why it is important to take care on our own scale, in our own home to accept and protect the people we love. I found that Geu-Ru acted as a mirror on Sang-Gu who reminded him of his past wounds and his lack of self-esteem. That’s why their meeting totally makes sense. Both are on a path of inner healing…

A beautiful path of inner healing

Geu-Ru and Sang-Gu experience their grieving process differently. Geu-Ru is not ready to say goodbye to his father and keeps the urn of ashes near him. As for Sang-Gu, there is a lot of mystery surrounding his past and we don’t know why he went to prison or why he holds such a grudge against his dead brother. But everything will become clearer as the episodes progress, as if the pieces of the puzzle were coming together, because the personal history of the deceased acts as a resilience on their own lives.

Both must learn to know each other, learn to open up to the other, to love again within themselves giving space in the life of the other. It is for me a beautiful story of inner healing, of healing from a loss and learning to live with it. It’s also a beautiful story of friendship and love that this lovely trio forms with Geu-Ru’s feisty best friend Yoon Na-Moo who practically spends her days at their house because her dream is to be an employee of “Move to Heaven”.

Na-Moo, Sang-Gu, Geu-Ru and Jeong-Woo

I like the authenticity of their personalities, they are funny and endearing. For example when Geu-Ru warns Sang-Gu that he will deduct his pay because he doesn’t want to work and then Sang-Gu changes his mind during the day and after that Geu-Ru lets him know that he will only pay him 32% of the salary, the reactions of both of them are amusing.
As the episodes go by, they learn to appreciate each other, even to love each other, even if Sang-Gu won’t admit it. There are small gestures in their daily lives that don’t lie and that prove how much love is present. They learn to take care of each other. For example it is Geu-Ru who cleans Sang-Gu’s wounds because he is aware of the consequences of an infected wound which can lead to death. Of course Sang-Gu rejects Geu-Ru by telling him that once dead, he has no relatives to come and mourn him so he alludes that it is not necessary to take care of him…

Without knowing it, Sang-Gu will change, he will not be the same man anymore. He will want to be loved and love. There will be times when he turns his back on his nephew for fear of loving and hurting him. He thought he was doing the right thing so as not to put him in danger because of his debts. It is a drama that invites us to say that we all deserve love and to be happy. I was touched by Joong-Woo’s personal story of how he met his wife and then Geu-Ru came along and also the connection he had with Sang-Gu. It is a beautiful story of reconciliation and healing of the wounds of the past. Once they are healed of their wounds, they realize that a strong bond is already being forged.

The yellow box: the soul of the deceased

The drama is punctuated by the cleaning missions. There is a very solemn little ritual before proceeding to the last move of the deceased. I found it touching because it quotes the name of the deceased, the date of death. It shows the importance of saying the names of these people, it is to confirm their existence in this life.

Then we enter the intimacy of the deceased, we see Geu-Ru sorting the things and place them carefully in the yellow box “Move to Heaven”. This box contains the precious objects that reflect the personality of the deceased. While contemplating these objects, he tries to guess the last thoughts of the deceased and to transmit their last wishes to the family or to the persons concerned. Often these messages are liberating because they bring peace and serenity to the bereaved.

Move to Heaven’s particular approach is an ode to love as it reveals to us the hidden beauty or intention of the soul of the deceased. It is touching without being melodramatic. The yellow box is important, there are these objects that can reconcile people, where only the person knows the value of this or that object. Each object also has a story, an eternal link with the person you love because they can have a great sentimental value, like a treasure.

I started to imagine what objects would be put in my box? Can our whole life fit in a box? In any case, I have always expressed my love and affection to my loved ones whenever I feel like it. Months have passed, and the day will come when Geu-Ru will also have to put his father’s things in a small box. So this is an important and very personal step in the grieving process that should not be neglected but honored.

This little box shows that we are all equal in the face of death through the deceased, regardless of our social status (doctor, student, worker) and our age (young, old) and the way we die, natural death or murder, we all have the right to this yellow box. So isn’t it better to start cherishing our life and not live confined and trapped in our mental box (of fears and limiting beliefs) because the time of our death has not arrived to be in a real box, the coffin. Let’s live, love and enjoy life without regret!

The Treasures of Life

Through the personal stories of the deceased, I discovered a life made of meaning by discovering the way they knew how to express their love. Even Geu-Ru’s father kept small rituals to remember his brother Song-Gu whom he has not seen for so many years. It is these small tokens of love that pass through time and become memorable. This is the case with the death of this elderly couple. They touched me deeply. I think it was the image of them lying dead, with a close-up of their hands, holding hands. I thought it was beautiful. The simple beauty of love. It makes you want to share and tell their lives and not keep the lives of these men and women to yourself.

For me, this was the most remarkable puzzle that Geu-Ru had to solve. At the funeral home, it was sad because no one came to pray for their death, there were no mourning flowers. But Geu-Ru brought the plants that were in the greenhouses of the deceased. He thus adorned the altar while uttering the language of flowers, like an avalanche of declarations of love from the old man for his wife. We realize that for all his years the old man has used the love language of flowers to accompany his wife in her illness. Love is cultivated over a lifetime towards the person with whom one has chosen to share one’s life. I found this very beautiful.

The butterfly, symbol of death and rebirth!

episode 10 (end)

This is a drama that moved me deeply in my heart and soul. It is a drama that is easy to watch with a serene heart. I didn’t find any flaw in this drama. The tone is right and full of treasures, every scene, every emotion, every tear I shed, everything made sense as if I was seeing a great puzzle of life come together! It makes us want to live life to the fullest, life is precious, our life is precious! I saw through people’s stories the beauty of their personal lives and their souls that continue to live through their treasures in their little yellow box. Life should be about meaning and small rituals, it’s important.

The last episode was for me the most beautiful surprise because a butterfly showed up (I talked about my relationship with the butterfly here)! As soon as I saw this butterfly flying around this girl and then landing on the girl’s head, I felt like I was seeing myself as a Butterfly Princess. So this ending is perfect for me because I couldn’t have imagined a better ending and final message in the face of this young girl’s request that life and death are complementary, she celebrates and welcomes them with a smile. It is clear that with this drama, I had the impression to have messages addressed to me in a personal way in front of what I am going through. And it confirmed to me what I would like to live in my life: to love more and become the best I can be while keeping my smile!

What about you? Did you watch this drama? When did you think about it?

To go further

The spirit of the film made me think of Ito OGAWA’s novels, a life made of meaning where each moment is a treasure to be cherished that I invite you to read:

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