Korean Movie Review: Sunny

Sunny is the story of Na-mi; a shy, unassuming girl who transfers from her high school in Jeollabuk-do (Jeolla represent!) to the bright lights of Seoul.  While her accent and fashion sense (or rather lack of) singles her out and makes her the butt of many jokes, she is accepted by six of her classmates who go by the name of Sunny.  Fast forward 25 years and the gang have lost touch. However, Na-mi runs into their former leader, the fierce Choon-hwa, who is dying of cancer.  With fate seemingly on their side, it’s Choon-hwa’s dying wish to get the old gang back together one last time so they can not only repair their relationship, but keep certain promises they made to each other when they were teenagers.

 

 

With most Korean comedies, you know it is only a matter of time before there is some sort of tonal shift.  However, with Sunny focusing on a best friend dying of cancer, you are under no illusion that you might shed a tear or two at some point during the movie.  This is what makes Sunny different and allows you to fully enjoy the good times.  In a perverse way, Choon-hwa’s funeral is actually a time for celebration.  It’s one of the most joyous scenes in the film that brings the narrative film full circle and is a lovely, albeit sad, moment.

 

 

The film is definitely at it’s funniest when it focuses on the girls at high school as opposed to the adults who reminisce about what could have been. That’s not to say the adults have no chemistry, it’s just the seven younger versions of the characters are so engaging and have great banter, I couldn’t get enough of their storyline despite knowing some conflict will arise.

 

Sunny is one of the funniest Korean movies I have seen in a long time and put director Kang Hyeong-cheol’s back catalogue firmly at the top of my to see list.

 

Categories: Reviews

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