Tuesday, June 25, 2013

High Melodrama

Secret Sunshine (2007) - Lee
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Secret Sunshine tells a story of tragedy prone Shin-ae (Jeon Do-yeon). After her husband's death, She and her young son move to a small southern town called Milyang (meaning secret sunshine), the birth place of her deceased husband, to start anew. As soon as she somewhat acclimates herself to the country living, another tragedy strikes. And when she is most vulnerable, she finds Jesus. Does everything really happen for a reason? Is everywhere the same? Is there a meaning in that sunshine?

At times, the film is as corny as it sounds. It is definitely not as good as Lee Chang Dong's other films (Peppermint Candy, Poetry). Sunshine does avoid many of the pitfalls of stereotypes associated with Korean melodramas but not nearly enough. Though it is saved by Jeon Do-yeon's performance. You just want to protect her at all cost. And that's what happens to a local businessman Jongchan (Song Gangho). Known for his comic performances, Song's everyman hopelessly in love with someone who is clearly above his class is just as well drawn as that of Jeon's protagonist. Watch it for the performances.

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