Sunny (2008)…reviewed by Wai Lu Yin

Director: Lee Joon Ik
Casts: Soo Ae, Jeong Jin Yeong, and Jeong Kyeong Ho
Genre: Romance/War
Running Minutes: 126 minutes
Certi: 15

Soo Ni (Soo Ae), who is known as ‘Sunny’ is forced to go on an arranged marriage to a man who still loves his college girlfriend. Her husband, Sang Gil (Uhn Tae Woong), is a soldier in the Republic of Korea Army. Sang Gil does not show his love affection for Soo Ni who gives her love to him. After Sng Gil is sent to the Vietnam War, Soo Ni follow him. She joins with the band who are heading to the same direction as her. She sings ‘Sunny’ to the soldiers while she hopes to be reunited with her husband.

Compared to ‘The Happy Life’, ‘Sunny’ is way better. The reason is because this film takes into a smooth emotional ride. I get the sense of connection with the film. I am not in dazed with the storyline. It is just smooth sailing. Each scene links among each other as Soo Ni and the band encounters problems along the way while in Vietnam. For example, they perform for the US army, Korean army, and Vietnam army while Soo Ni desperately wants to see Sang Gil. The film itself takes me on an adventure with Soo Ni and the band.

Soo Ni. Although she looks old-fashioned at the beginning of this film, she tries her upmost best to blend in with the peers (mostly men) by dressing into flashy performance outfits. For that, she looks better in those outfits. Since she can sing, I admire the songs that she sang. I admire her smile when she really enjoys herself while performing. In fact, I enjoyed the performances by Soo Ni and the band at army camps. You see that the army men are all hyped up when they perform including Soo Ni. To me, the songs make people happy, dance, and recall their favourite songs which remind them of their memories in their own hometowns. Basically, army men enjoyed themselves even though I laugh when they dance happily. Soo Ni is a capable woman who tries her upmost best just to find her husband and proof her love to him.

The band brings laughter to the audiences. The things they do to enjoy and avoid being killed. They push the right buttons on what will make people laugh. Yes, the band wants to gain fame and money by performing to the armies. However, they realised that happiness and friendship is important. If I am to pick the bands from the films between ‘The Happy Life’ and ‘Sunny’, I pick the band from ‘Sunny’. The reason is because they have different comedic personalities. Towards the end of this film, the band try their upmost best to make sure that Soo Ni will be able to see her husband. Both Soo Ni and the band make a great team by helping each other out.

During the war, it felt so real as if I was there such as the camera is following the soldiers who were at war. Throughout the war scenarios, these give me like ‘WOW’ feeling in my heart. I feel how the soldiers and victims have gone through the hard times during the Vietnam War. In addition to that, this film portrays some historical context (entertaining and informational) about the Vietnam War. One example is when the innocent Vietnam girl is shot at Saigon. My heart sinks as I see the look of her face. Thus, I say that the portrayal and camera movements of showing the Vietnam War are good.

There is one problem: the scene where Soo Ni slaps Sang Gil as she ‘cry’. I couldn’t tell her facial expression. It causes me to hide my laughter. I know it supposes to be sad at the ending but I can’t tell either she’s smiling or crying. I am glad that both Soo Ni and Sang Gil meet each other after all the obstacles they encountered. It is just their facial expression that could not tell either they are happy or sad. That is the only scene which I find it confusing.

To summarize up,

Pros
– Good storyline with a smooth emotional ride which are portrayed by the characters.
– Entertaining, informational, and emotional historical Vietnam War context.
– Wonderful band who perform great songs.
– Have the sense of connection with the film characters.

Cons
– Could not tell how Soo Ni expresses herself while she slaps Sang Gil

Rating: 7/10

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