Have you ever watched a movie and know the moment when you really connect to it? Just after the 90-minute mark of I Am Happy I had one of those full-body shivers, not from the cold but from the movie. Two back-to-back scenes sealed the deal for me and served as the story climax and pivotal point of the characters. So, these 5 or so minutes of the movie were the story essence for me. On top of all that, the shiver was followed by a flash of personal memories and connections to the movie. So it was both an enjoyable and depressing movie to watch.
I Am Happy, at times I thought this movie had an ironic title but with irony comes meaning. By the end, I didn’t think it was so ironic, and rather purposeful and true. Perhaps the title and meaning in the film is more of a paradox (about being happy). The movie is a sad but somehow uplifting drama that deals mostly with suffering and depression. Personally, I felt the romance was more about a bond or connection in a relationship rather than the lovey-dovey stuff, which was fitting. Definitely great story writing and direction of another “wounded-soul” movie by Yoon Jong-Chan (Sorum).
Hyun-Bin plays a man (Man-soo) who after facing a string of hardships in life becomes institutionalized. Early-on we are told his sudden mental illness is a result of taking care of his mother who suffers from dementia as well as supporting his brother who is addicted to gambling. Those descriptions of his mother and brother definitely broaden throughout the movie as the hardships are fully revealed. He falls in love with one of his nurses (Su-kyung) played by Lee Bo-Young who is dealing with her own personal issues. These two people find some sort of consolation in each other. More so, they (probably) unknowingly help one another deal through their mental states.
I Am Happy is a sad and depressing movie, but equally beautiful and uplifting. Its about burden and hardship, and the strength to deal with them — or lack of (despair). Its about depression and the clash between mentality and emotions. Its about life and living. Its relevant.
aparoo says 5/5