I’ve been feeling sick these past couple of days so I’ve been stuck in one place just watching movies. I’ve managed to get my hands on the Korean movie Maundy Thursday also called Our Happy Time. Let me tell you, its one hell of a tearjerker, or maybe it’s because I have a soft spot for romance stories that aren’t all fluff and rainbows.
Maundy Thursday is about a suicidal professor, Yu-Jung, who is coerced by her Aunt Monica to help her councel a death row inmate in an attempt to distract her niece. She meets the convict, Yun-Soo, charged with killing three women and raping one of them and who happens to spend each day hoping for his death to come. These two who had given up on life find something to wake up for each day and await the coming week with hope and fear.
I found out about this movie through reading Sahara Mizu’s version of the original novel which was Korean by the author Gong Ji-young. Fresh off reading the manga I was pretty much already teary eyed, so when I started watching the movie I knew what I was in for. Near the end, even though things are implied but not yet happening ,I was already crying waterfalls. I think that the movie pretty much overwhelmed me, especially those final moments. While Sahara Mizu’s version was praise worthy, I think that seeing live people go through it (albeit it’s only a movie) just struck my tear glands hard.
Kang Dong-won, who plays Yun-Soo, gets a hard time about his acting just because he started off as a model and has a rather androgynous look going on as a style (though he has a rather boyish face for the most part in the movie), but I feel that he’s done an amiable job with Yun-Soo’s character. There’s scenes where he acts like a jerk and times when it seems like he’s truly happy for the first time in his life though expresses it awkwardly, and there’s those hard to watch moments when he’s down right the most pitiable character there is. There’s range, but I guess he still has room to grow as an actor. As for Lee Na-young, who plays Yu-Jung, she’s a pretty good actress. There’s a scene where she’s crying and laughing like a crazy women at the same time and I’m like “Wow…” She has an almighty attitude for a lot of the movie which suits the character, though its a pity that we didn’t get to hear her sing despite the fact that’s what attracted the young Yun-Soo to her character in the past. These two each had their moments where they stand alone and made me go reach for that tissue box.
I think the director did a good job with the film. It’s a very talky film, not much action, but those moments where they just sit and talk are the “happy times.” The movie had started off with Chopin’s Tristesse and I was already o-m-g-ing. Probably the most perfect song for this not to mention scores extra points since its one of my favourites. I feel that while this is a romance film that will probably attract the girly girls in general, others can be drawn in by the topic of death sentences, which is a big, big part of this film and its pros and cons are explored a bit not only through the eyes of the main characters but also the people connected to the process. In my part, its a pretty weighty subject and the movie has done a good job with creating a situation where its just plain wrong (though of course there might be people out there who think otherwise).
Now if you love a good non-fluffy, tearjerker romance film go for this. However, as a caution if you don’t like blood then probably skip this. The film’s about a suicidal chick and a death row inmate, there’s scenes of blood here.