Sunny (2008-Korean Movie)

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Plot

In 1971 Korea, Soon-Yi (Soo-Ae) is an average housewife, whose only hobby is singing. At the time, some 320,000 Korean men are dispatched to fight alongside American troops in the Vietnam War, and her husband, Sang-gil (Uhm Tae-Woong), is one of them. She decides to go to Vietnam to search for Sang-gil by joining a "consolatory band" that cheers up troops. Newly named "Sunny," she embarks on a journey of self-discovery and love.

Notes

  1. Scenes set in Vietnam were shot on location in Thailand over a five month period.

Cast

Sunny-Soo Ae.jpg Sunny-Jeong Jin-Yeong.jpg Jung Kyoung-Ho
Soo-Ae Jung Jin-Young Jung Kyoung-Ho
Soon-Yi / Sunny Jeong-Man (sax) Yong-Deuk (bass)
Joo Jin-Mo Sunny 2008-Shin Hyun-Tak.jpg Sunny-Uhm Tae-Woong.jpg
Joo Jin-Mo Shin Hyun-Tak Uhm Tae-Woong
Seong-Chan (guitar) Cheol-Sik (drums) Sang-Gil

Additional Cast Members:

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Comments

Mary A Hate Soo Ae in this role! I liked the movie but not her. She is very annoying!!

Radio Baran soundtrack link ?!!!

sam good movie and soo ae the best

Ki From director Jun-ik Lee, (The King and the Clown), comes his epic 60’s war / rock pic “Sunny”. This isn’t the first time music has played an important part in his films. Lee’s two prior films, “Radio Star” and “The Happy Life,” both incorporated music heavily into its story line. With “Sunny,” the music is probably the strongest aspect about the film, but everything else about the film is absolutely abysmal.

“Sunny” starts off in a rural area of South Korea in the 1960’s. Soon-yi enters into a loveless arranged marriage with Sang-gil (Tae-woon Eom). Soon after, Sang-gil enlists in the army, leaving Soon-yi to live alone with his demanding mother-in-law. Her mother-in-law then pushes Soon-yi to visit her son monthly in hopes that those visits will produce a son. One day, Sang-gil fights with a fellow soldier and is given the choice between detention or fight in the Vietnam War.

On Soon-yi’s next visit she’s informed that Sang-gil has been transferred to Vietnam. When she returns home, her mother-in-law goes in despair. Sang-gil is her only son and her husband died in the Korean war. Her mother-in-law then sets off to Vietnam without even knowing where the country is. Soon-yi quickly volunteers to go instead and find her husband.

Soon-yi quickly learns its a lot more difficult than expected. Civilians are not permitted to travel to Vietnam but she learns the consolatory entertainers can travel to Vietnam. She then hooks up with a debt-laden rock band, in need of a singer, who are soon set to travel to Vietnam.

It’s pretty rare to find decent Western actors in Asian films and “Sunny” is no exception. The Western performers are nearly all unwatchable, while the Asian performers portraying the Viet Cong are nearly as a bad. During their time in Vietnam (these scenes were actually filmed in Thailand) you’re inundated with every cliche shown in every other war film. The worst moment being when their Viet Cong captor suddenly offers the poignant question “What is peace?” (Hunh? Where did that come from?).

Jun-ik Lee’s first use of a female protagonist comes out equally as bad. Granted, Lee was attempting to portray the conservative Confucius values of the time, yet Soon-yi’s constant subservient depiction rubbed this viewer the wrong way. The only way for Soon-yi to attain anything of significance was through her sexuality. Singing in front of the military troops was one thing, but when she had to go out into the audience and dance with the soldiers or parade herself in front of the military commanders to make the concerts a success…well it seemed like nothing more than a women forced to whore herself out. This culminates in the end of the film where she literally whores herself out to find out her husband’s whereabouts.

This also raises another important question about Soon-yi's quest to find her husband. The movie depicts Soon-yi and Sang-gil's marriage as an arranged marriage without love. Then why is Soon-yi so desperate to find her husband in Vietnam? The answer could be “love” (which seemed absent in the movie) or more likely, fulfilling her filial duties to her mother-in-law. If the answer is the latter then Soon-yi's actions seem even more pathetic. You get the feeling from watching Soon-yi's docile mannerisms and conservative wardrobe that the filmmakers adapted her character from the title character in “Failan,” but unlike the title character in "Failan," who indeed elicited empathy and heroism, Soon-yi and the rest of the film come across as surprisingly cheap.

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