Friday, August 22, 2014

Review: Sunny (2011)

Sunny (Review)
Kang Hyeong-cheol/Shim Eun-kyung/2011
Where to Watch:
Netflix Streaming
Amazon Prime

"...I left with the biggest smile I've likely ever had from a film."

To fulfill her friend's dying wish, Im Na-mi (Yoo Ho-jeong) sets out to reunite their high school group, Sunny.

Sunny interlinks the past and present, almost seamlessly thanks to the great editing and storytelling. In the present, the girls are middle-aged and reconnecting due to Ha Chun-hwa's (Jin Hee-kyung) terminal illness -- Chun-hwa being the group leader. The past, which takes place during the 80s, follows this group of girls who share a tight and hilarious bond, particularly after country girl Na-mi (Shim Eun-kyung) joins. They go through the good and the bad, with plenty of sass and quirk, and through thick and thin. The ending is also very moving.

Sunny is a fantastic comedy-drama. The humor is absolutely hilarious. Whether it's hilarious street fights, a foul-mouthed teen or grandma, or fake possessions, this film had me laughing out loud. It's very versatile in its humor, too. There's also plenty of drama and emotion. And not just melodrama, but honest and genuine drama. The humor and drama are made much more effective by the very vivid, lively, and likable characters. You can't get enough of this fun and energetic group of girls; I mean Na-mi's dancing, during the 80s, brings a smile to my face just thinking about it! It's also a very positive film; the humor is mostly lighthearted, and its message of friendship and dreams is superb.

The film is led by an amazing cast. Shim Eun-kyung, whose been a personal favorite of mine since I watched Hansel & Gretel years ago, is pure charisma; she has amazing screen presence, and she's hilarious. Kang Sora, who plays a young Chun-hwa's, is also great. There are too many to name, though. They're all great. I liked the music; an excellent soundtrack for the film. It's also shot very well. The set and clothing design, especially for the 80s scenes, is fantastic, as well. Kang Hyeong-cheol, who also wrote and directed Scandal Makers, finds the perfect balance of humor and drama; the film is also perfectly paced, edited, and told -- it was over before I knew it.

Overall, Sunny is a magnificent film. It's one of the funniest films I've ever watched, and the drama is also very effective. The story is refreshing, and the storytelling is engaging. The cast is all-around superb, and I especially enjoyed Shim Eun-kyung's performance. You may shed some tears, but I left with the biggest smile I've likely ever had from a film.

Score: 10/10
Parental Guide: Some violence and blood. Excessive language used for humor.

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