陽光姊妹淘 Sunny

A Love Letter to Oneself

Last year witnessed a huge success of a Taiwanese movie, You Are the Apple of My Eye, at the box office. If you feel like a Korean female version, don’t miss Sunny, a hilarious, but sometimes poignant coming-of-age story about middle age crisis and the ups and downs experienced during adolescence, for example, puppy love, friendship, family, bullying, dreams, etc.

Sunny is a love letter to oneself which reminds me of Rene Liu’s song 繼續給十五歲的自己. There are at least two scenes which play upon the audience's heartstrings. First, the teenage girls talk to their future selves about their dreams in front of a video camera, which cruelly reminds Na-Mi in the present of the wreckage of their dreams destroyed by reality. Second, Na-Mi puts a consoling arm around her teenage self around her shoulders, which symbolically implies her letting go. Thanks to the right pacing and skillful editing interweaving the present with the past, the reality with the illusion, they are definitely two of the most touching scenes of the year. After watching the movie, you won’t help asking yourself if you have forgotten about your dreams.

The songs used add a sense of nostalgia to the movie. The most powerful one is Reality by Richard Sanderson. Please note the slightly different uses of the song in several scenes throughout the movie. Thanks to this romantic song, the scenes echo with one another, highlighting the protagonist’s unrequited love for the boy, her piercing sadness when she sees the boy using the same strategy to impress her female friend, as well as her regret about not having given him the portrait and told him how she feels. For your information, the
scenes in which the boy stealthily helps the girls wear his headphones playing Reality are indeed a tribute to Claude Pinoteau’s La boum, a movie released in 1980 about the first love experiences of a teenage girl.

The movie, which runs two hours plus, is slightly too long, despite the director’s understandable attempt to develop a large number of characters. As for the dancing scene at the end of the movie, albeit slightly overlong, it is necessary as it shows their genuine bond of friendship after 25 years since graduation. Also, the ending seems contrived and sugary, whereas the minor flaws previously mentioned can be offset by its charismatic cast, well developed characters and the nostalgic setting. 

There is a trace of irony when the protagonist’s mother grumbles about the clichéd Korean soap operas twice. Nevertheless, the director also reminds us that life is like a film and it is not uncommon that people around us can be struck down by cancer anytime. Being strongly reminiscent of our bitter-sweet and silly memories during adolescence, Sunny successfully reminds us to live life to the full so as not to have regrets. I give Sunny 4 stars out of 5.


The song Reality used several times in the movie: 

One-minute Reviews:

危險療情 A Dangerous Method - 3.6 / 5

I'm stunned by Keira Knightley's very convincing performance, despite being disappointed by the lack of cohesive narrative, insight into psychoanalysis and engaging dialogues.

屍營旅舍 The Cabin In The Woods - 3.7 / 5

As one of the most creative and entertaining horror movies in years, it surprises me with its creative twist. However, a few plot holes are quite distracting.

3D 復仇者聯盟 3D The Avengers - 4 / 5

The best superhero movie of the year, with a star-studded charismatic cast, well-developed characters, tons of action and stunning IMAX 3D images.

80分鐘死亡直播之變種屍新娘  [REC] 3 Genesis - 3 / 5

A disappointment despite my love for the first two episodes. It does not give us any further insight into the mystery. The hand held camera is abandoned after 30 minutes, but it does not enhance the effect. The focus of the movie, romance, may be able to touch some members of the audience. However, if you expect a movie similar to the first two, skip it.

黃金花大酒店 The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - 3.4 / 5

The very capable cast is wasted. There are too many characters and as a result the story lacks a focus and their stories are not well developed. Some changes are also too sudden! There are moments of brilliance though, thanks to the charismatic and capable cast. The movie reminds me of a quote. The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it. Let's live life to the full!

奇蹟 I Wish - 4.3 / 5

Deeply touched by the adorable kids' wishes. The film looks at the negative influences of broken families on children from the kids' perspectives and how they release their pent-up emotions. The director's work never disappoint me.

普羅米修斯 Prometheus - 4 / 5

Prometheus is a successful prequel which can be seen as a warning about the dangers of scientific progress. Sometimes we create something which is very dangerous and we have to destroy them in order to recreate. The audience will be stunned by the beautifully crafted set, which adds a sense of nostalgia to the movie. Don't expect a lot of aliens. You are going to explore the origin of human life and have an adventure in a mysterious world. The only thing I dislike is the silly behavior of the scientists.

無聲吶喊 Silenced - 4.2 / 5

Sunny and Silenced are two Korean films I have watched in 2012 and both are excellent. Silenced is a poignant and depressing movie based on a true event that happened in a special school where the deaf children are abused by the Principal and teachers. In the first half of the movie, the horrible abuses are unveiled one by one. The second half is a courtroom drama. The movie is an emotional ride which tugs at your heartstrings. At the scene in which the teacher is on the verge of tears and the boy cries his eyes out and struggles to express his overwhelming pent-up emotions upon knowing that his grandmother has forgiven the culprit, some members of the audience will be moved to tears. Where might is master, justice is servant, which is cruel, but real. It is also uplifting to see the teacher remain steadfast in his determination to bring the culprits to justice, despite his daughter's plight. As for the setting, the misty mountains and creepy campus create an eerie atmosphere. I also love the montage at the beginning of the movie. The kid is just like the deer, innocent and pure. The perversion of justice prevails when Christians are blinded by their unquestionable faith, teachers are heartless, policemen, lawyers, the judge and the security guard are corrupted by money, civil servants shirk their responsibility and shift the work onto others and others remain silent. Martin Luther King is right. In the end, we remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. Amid those humans who are evil but influential in society, justice is shrouded in a thick gray mist.

依戀在生命最後8天 Chicken With Plums - 3.8 / 5

Despite the subtle humor and a large variety of stunning images, the story is rather simple.

蜘蛛俠:驚世現新 The Amazing Spider-Man - 3.5 / 5

Not bad, but I personally don't need another Spiderman. The new movie lacks surprises and very impressive quotes. I also prefer Tobey to Andrew. A few scenes are romantic though.

11 則留言:

  1. "Reality"這首歌的運用,代表著主角兩個年代,卻抱著同一情緒,看得好感動.
    此片值得一推, 奇怪大眾甚少品題.
    [版主回覆04/16/2012 21:30:20]Exactly! What a good film! It is a pity that Hong Kong people seldom watch Korean movies in cinemas these years.

  2. 我好喜歡這電影,只是略覺得結局太完美﹗此外,我亦有介紹比同事看,大家都覺得不錯﹗有笑有淚有情誼。
    [版主回覆04/16/2012 23:08:36]結局太完美 - totally agree! A bit flawed.

  3. 前日睇咗,好有意思,不過真係太長,我想睇多啲佢哋成人的故事,反而唔係咁多,特別主角同個女一段,佢幫個女出完頭之後,同個女之後嘅關係係無交代過的...... 可能個女唔知阿媽幫佢出頭件事...?

    提提你,BC 特別放映「心靈港灣」~ 現售票中~
    [版主回覆05/01/2012 23:05:25]有丁丁點over 咗 - my friend thought she was possessed. ^^

    I will definitely watch Cabin in the Wood. It will be formally released this Thu? Right?

    I have watched Martha Marcy May Marlene. It is a very thought provoking independent movie about a cult.
    [鯨魚回覆05/01/2012 14:45:00]最後都無買飛,會上正場耶~
    Keira in a dangerous method 有丁丁點over 咗,如果有番少少心理學底,呢套會睇得投入啲。你睇咗cabin in the wood 未?我想睇又有啲唔敢睇....><
    [版主回覆04/21/2012 20:50:11]1. The reviews in IMDB may not be reliable. I read the ones at Rottentomatoes.
    2. 部戲有份入圍金球最佳外語,應該差都唔會太離譜啩 - AGREE!!!
    [鯨魚回覆04/21/2012 12:58:03]reviews 先奇怪,夠極端,IMDb 一半勁捧一半勁踩......
    不過部戲有份入圍金球最佳外語,應該差都唔會太離譜啩...... ^^"
    [版主回覆04/21/2012 12:07:26]I am afraid I don't know, yet please note that the reviews of this film are only AVERAGE!
    [鯨魚回覆04/21/2012 11:11:09]哈哈,睇得出你真係好想睇 ^^"
    我想問呢,你知唔知Angelina Jolie 套 In The Land Of Blood And Honey 會唔會上正場??我見Grand Cinema 而家買緊飛,有中文字幕添,但係唔係好想去GC......
    [版主回覆04/19/2012 22:30:28]The website works now and I have booked the tickets. Looking forward to seeing this beautiful movie. Thanks a lot!!!
    [版主回覆04/19/2012 21:20:27]Thanks a milllllliooooon!!! I really wanna watch it, especially after your recommendation haha. But I cant get access to the BC website, probably due to the technical problem. Agree with you that the relationship between the daughter and the mother should be further developed. Dunno why the daughter hates her mum so much. 同個女之後嘅關係係無交代過的 - there is a scene showing them in the same private car. The girl looks less hostile to her mum in that scene. Perhaps, she is sometimes emotional or the director wants to convey a message that all teenagers are to a certain extent disobedient somehow haha.

  4. Pandora 香傭講法文2012年5月1日 下午9:54

    [版主回覆05/01/2012 23:02:30]The best Korean movie this year haha!!!

  5. 會否太女性化?
    [版主回覆05/07/2012 22:45:23]You may say so, since it is about a woman's unrequited love and friendship in her youth. Anyway, it is a sincerely made movie and I'm touched despite the cliched ending.

  6. so touching and impressive!
    [版主回覆05/20/2012 11:55:33]one of the most surprising movies of the year!

  7. i hate the yahoo blog without alert...otherwise, i will not miss this movie...
    [版主回覆06/01/2012 20:42:25]It's a pity! Buy the VCD later!

  8. 看了!~都不錯呢!~笑中有淚!~淚中帶笑!~
    [版主回覆06/21/2012 21:07:39]It is a must see and I am looking forward to seeing it. It reminds me of Confession from Japan. Wonder if they are similar in some ways. Equally dark perhaps.
    [Time Is Changing回覆06/21/2012 17:32:17]今年韓國還有套無聲吶喊,也是佳作!~
    [版主回覆06/10/2012 23:48:27]The ending is a bit disappointing, but the film has so many strengths that I can't stop myself loving it. One of my top 15 this year.

  9. Little Wing - Wendy2012年6月18日 上午12:33

    Good movie!!! BTW, long time so see, how are you?
    [版主回覆06/18/2012 19:48:51]Long time no see! Miss you so much! Just too busy to update my blog because of an endless list of administrative duties and difficult colleagues. Anyway, things are getting better and I'm looking forward to the summer. How about you?

  10. Little Wing - Wendy2012年7月3日 下午11:49

    haha!!! So far so good!!! The summer holiday is coming, do you have any planning for trip?
    [版主回覆07/04/2012 21:42:30]Southern Italy YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. 放暑假啦⋯你可以輕鬆下
    [版主回覆07/05/2012 17:54:02]True! But still busy at the moment... sigh... especially at the end of the year and especially because of my overwhelming administrative duties. Still, I'll try to enjoy my life to the FULLLLLLLLLLLLLL.