‘Dream’ Summary And Ending, Explained: What Does The Korean Team Learn In Budapest?

Park Seo-Jun and IU starring Dream is finally out on Netflix for global audiences. While the film is entertaining, it is easily forgettable with its basic premise and ending. You can read our full review here. The film is lightly inspired by the “Homeless World Cup” of 2010. The characters are loosely based on people the writers met and interviewed in the streets themselves. Director Lee makes a point to tell viewers that he is not making caricatures of the homeless but instead trying to tell their side of the tale. Unfortunately, in an attempt to make the film commercial, the purpose is definitely lost, but it’s still enjoyable, and all the actors do a phenomenal job at being funny and emotional.


Spoilers Ahead

Plot Synopsis: What Happens In The ‘Dream’ Film?

Yoon Hong-Dae plays for the national soccer team but always comes in second place. What this means is that even if he runs fast enough, he never gets the ball for the winning shot. At the same time, his mother is facing charges of scamming and fraud. She’s been hiding from the authorities. One fine day, after a match, a journalist keeps pressing Hong-Dae about his mother, even with a warning from the manager. In a fit of temper, Hong-Dae pokes him in the eyes really hard in front of a large crowd of journalists and team members, leaving him to be disciplined. At this point, though, Hong-Dae is done with playing soccer because of the treatment he receives at the games and decides to retire. Unfortunately, because he’s broke and his mother is in trouble too, his agency doesn’t give him a chance to retire; instead, they decide to build up his image again by making him a celebrity. With his reputation on the line, there’s no way he’d be allowed to retire, but if he’s able to save face, he can do what he likes. His saving grace is PD So-Min, who herself needs to build up a reputation so she can pay off her student loans and live her passion for directing tearjerkers.  They make a great bickering team.


The big idea is to get Hong-Dae to train the Homeless World Cup team and create a heartbreaking narrative that could bring them both into the limelight and save Hong-Dae from being doomed for life as the “eye-poking man.” The homeless team is made up of people who have gone bankrupt, who lost their families because of their lack of money and status, an ex-gangster, a young orphan boy, and more. At first, So-Min dictates the narrative by giving Hong-Dae a script and telling him exactly what to do. He gives away his home to one of the players whose daughter wants to spend one last summer with her dad before moving to Australia with her mother and her new Australian husband. This leads him to stay with a disabled woman who happens to be the love of one of the players. The player who slogs day and night so he can make some money to help her pay rent gets seriously upset that she appreciates the football player more than him, just because he’s a football player. Without realizing it, the team starts to get better, and at the same time, Hong-Dae starts to warm up to them.

Then one day, some teenagers harass the woman Hong-Dae is living with because she’s wearing a soccer jersey that he gifted to her. He beats them up, getting charged for assault again. Since she’s unable to speak as a victim, the detective in charge is unbothered by the case. The whole team comes to Hong-Dae’s defense, and finally, it is So-Min who gets the woman to tell the detective about what happened that day. Fortunately for them, the woman noticed somebody taking a video from a balcony of the building she lives in, so things could be looking up for Hong-Dae. So-Min posts the video online, and it quickly reaches millions of people, placing Hong-Dae in their good books again. In the meantime, his mother gets imprisoned, and since he’s broke, he really can’t do anything to help her. Hong-Dae and his mother don’t have the best relationship, as he feels neglected and is number 2 in her books too. According to him, most parents would put their kid at number 1. But when she gets free and comes back home because Hong-Dae got money from his management, his mother finally apologizes to him for making him feel that way. She was only 18 when she had him, and so she wanted to live her own life when she thought the time was right.


After the popularity of the video that So-Min uploaded, Hong-Dae becomes rather famous, so his manager decides to pull him from the World Cup nobody is bothered to watch and send him on a reality show that has celebrities go into the jungle and eat lizards to survive. Hong-Dae does not want to sign any contracts, so will he abandon his team or join them?

What Does The Korean Team Learn In Budapest?

Hong-Dae finally makes a decision for himself rather than the people around him and goes with his team. All the other teams are made of strong-looking men who look more like professionals than homeless people. It’s rather evident that Korea has no chance of winning, but the team is ready to put up a fight. After drastically losing the first game, So-Min decides that they should at least win one game for her documentary to be successful. The tournament allows two people from another country to join a team with fewer members. Hong-Dae hates the idea and basically names So-Min the coach for the time being. The game goes well for Korea because the new Brazilian members take the ball for themselves. There’s no chance for the Korean members to even try playing. They’re terribly disappointed even after winning the match, and finally, Hong-Dae gives them a pep talk.


While what he says is not extraordinary, it gives the team the strength to fight for what is theirs. They remember the people they chose to do this for. It wasn’t just Hong-Dae and So-Min fighting for their reputations. All the team members also had to show their families that they cared. Even though they know they can’t win, they put up their best fight. So much so that the whole crowd chooses to take their side and cheer for the team in Korean. This boosts the confidence of the team, and they’re able to score one goal, which is plenty for them. This led the team to become the most popular of the teams in the tournament. They recorded only one win out of 11 matches, but they won the 2010 Best Newcomer Award.

At the end of the movie, the documentary is a success, and the team members get their redemption. Families begin to interact again, and some have to say their goodbyes, but everybody ends up happy. Hong-Dae goes back to becoming a soccer player, and the final shot of the movie is him getting the ball and jumping high up in the air to make the goal.


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Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika, or "Ru," is a fashion designer and stylist by day and a serial binge-watcher by night. She dabbles in writing when she has the chance and loves to entertain herself with reading, K-pop dancing, and the occasional hangout with friends.

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