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Secret Sunshine (2007)
"Milyang" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  22 December 2010 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 3,580 users   Metascore: 84/100
Reviews: 24 user | 83 critic | 6 from Metacritic.com

A woman moves to the town where her dead husband was born. As she tries to fit in, another tragic event overturns her life.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Shin-ae
...
Jong Chan
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yeong-jin Jo
Mi-kyung Kim
Yeong-jae Kim
Seo-hie Ko
Myeong-shin Park
Jung-yeop Seon ...
Jun
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Storyline

When her husband passes away in an automobile accident,Shin-ae relocates down south to her late husband's hometown of Miryang. Despite her efforts to settle down, in this unfamiliar and "much too normal place, she finds that she can't quite fit in. Helping her out is Kim Jong-chan, a good-intentioned but bothersome bachelor, who owns a car repair shop. Life plods on. However, fate takes a vicious turn when Shin-ae loses her son in the most horrific way a mother could imagine. She turns to Christianity to relieve the pain in her heart, but when even this is not permitted, she wages a war against God. Written by CJ Entertainment

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

22 December 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Secret Sunshine  »

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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

South Korea's Official Submission to the Best Foreign Language Film Category of the 80th Annual Academy Awards (2008). See more »

Connections

References Tiny Toon Adventures (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

¨Criollo¨
Written by Christian Basso and Diego Chemes
Performed by Christian Basso
Published by Warner Chappell Latin
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User Reviews

 
Faces of a suffering woman
21 December 2007 | by (Paris, France) – See all my reviews

Corean cinema can be quite surprising for an occidental audience, because of the multiplicity of the tones and genres you can find in the same movie. In a Coreen drama such as this "Secret Sunshine", you'll also find some comical parts, thriller scenes and romantic times. "There's not only tragedy in life, there's also tragic-comedy" says at one point of the movie the character interpreted by Song Kang-ho, summing up the mixture of the picture. But don't get me wrong, this heterogeneity of the genres the movie deals with, adds veracity to the experience this rich movie offers to its spectators. That doesn't mean that it lacks unity : on the contrary, it's rare to see such a dense and profound portrait of a woman in pain.

Shin-ae, who's in quest for a quiet life with her son in the native town of her late husband, really gives, by all the different faces of suffering she's going through, unity to this movie. It's realistic part is erased by the psychological descriptions of all the phases the poor mother is going through. Denial, lost, anger, faith, pert of reality : the movie fallows all the steps the character crosses, and looks like a psychological catalog of all the suffering phases a woman can experience.

The only thing is to accept what may look like a conceptual experience (the woman wears the mask of tragedy, the man represents the comical interludes) and to let the artifices of the movie touch you. I must say that some parts of the movie really did move me (especialy in the beginning), particularly those concerning the unability of Chang Joan to truly help the one he loves, but also that the accumulation of suffering emotionally tired me towards the end. Nevertheless, some cinematographic ideas are really breathtaking and surprising (the scene where a body is discovered in a large shot is for instance amazing). This kind of scenes makes "Secret Sunshine" the melo equivalent of "The Host" for horror movies or "Memories of murder" for thrillers. These movies are indeed surprising, most original, aesthetically incredible, and manage to give another dimension to the genres they deal with. The only thing that "Secret Sunshine" forgets, as "The host" forgot to be scary, is to make its audience cry : bad point for a melodrama, but good point for a good film.


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Blatantly anti-Christian krachmacher
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