Sunny, though brings to its audience a lot of entertaining moments with the girls’ fights and the swearing, still leaves me a lesson through the character Na-mi before and after she reunites with her friends, that having money does not make you happy, but friendship actually can bring you happiness.
The first ten minutes of the film basically describes the daily life of Na-mi. She wakes up at six, prepares breakfast for her husband and teenage daughter, washes dishes, cleans the house and has a piece of toast for her lunch. She lives in a luxury, modern apartment and has her own driver. It seems as if she and her daughter do not have to worry about money that much since it is handed to them from her husband whenever they want, not even when they need. When she spoke up about the whole family should visit her mom in the hospital, no one reacts to her idea. Later, her husband just hands her a check to go and buy a Chanel bag for her mother.
Looking from outside, people would tell that she has a perfect life that everybody wants, a house, a family and money. However, is she respected in the family? From what I saw in the film, she is treated in the family more like of a maid than a mom and a wife. Barely have I felt the affection that her husband has for her, neither the respect that her daughter should have for her, considering it is in the Korean culture where respect with adults is extremely important. She always has an uncomfortable expression on her face for the first 20 minutes of the movie. Is she happy with her life? Materials wise yes but mentally, there is still something missing in her life that makes her upset. It is the feeling of queen in a lonely palace and has nobody to share her feelings with.
However, after seeing her old friend, Chun-Hwa and on the mission of reuniting Sunny as it is Chun-Hwa’s last wish before she leaves forever, there is a change in Na-mi. She is more cheerful and more active. She expresses her emotion more freely. She smiles a lot whenever she flashbacks to her high school memory. She laughs out loud like a teenager with her high school friends in the Sunny group when they are together. When she sees her daughter being bullied at school by a group of girls, she even releases her anger by taking Sunny to go fighting with the high school girl group.
The image of a housewife Na-mi steadily disappears throughout the movie. She starts living her life again. Who would expect that Na-mi will actually take revenge on a group of high school kids by actually beating them up? If Na-mi did not meet her girlfriends again, she would just act like normal parents by reporting it to the school. Friendship has given back Na-mi her strength and her happiness back. Friendship has found her the “something” that she has been missing in her grown up life and she did not have to pay a cent for this friendship.
Sunny is a story to remind us the importance of spiritual life while the world now seems to care so much about materials.
Sunny-2011 Korean Movie Trailer (English Sub). YouTube
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