Director Hur Jin Ho addresses the two unavoidable facts of life in his latest film: we all want to be happy, and we all die eventually. Featuring a sterling cast headed by the charismatic Hwang Jung Min (You Are My Sunshine
) and Lim Soo Jung (I'm A Cyborg, But That's OK
is a warm, heartfelt, yet brutally realistic love story about two disheartened souls both suffering from illness. While Hur's past films like April Snow
, One Fine Spring Day
, and Christmas In August
concentrated on expressing understated love, Happiness
takes a more direct approach in its articulation of love. A beautifully rendered dramatic piece, Happiness
promises to be a timeless classic that inspires its audience to find their own recipe of happiness.
Young Soo (Hwang Jung Min), a freewheeler who runs a nightclub, is met with life's several crossroads all at once. First his business goes bankrupt, then his girlfriend (Kong Hyo Jin, Heaven's Soldiers) dumps him, and to add insult to injury, he discovers that he has a serious liver disease. Telling all his friends that he is going to study abroad, he checks into House of Hope, a home for incurables in the quite, secluded countryside. An eight-year resident and an employee of the rehab center, Eun Hee (Lim Soo Jung) suffers from a severe lung illness, though not a glimpse of sickness appears in her attitude. Always cheerful and optimistic, she finds Young Soo's aloofness quite charming. Drawn to her strength, Young Soo also falls for her and the two become inseparable, even finding a place of their own. One year rolls by and while Eun Hee seems endlessly content, the monotone of daily routines and Eun Hee's ailing condition begin to weigh Young Soo down. Just then, his ex-girlfriend makes a surprise visit from Seoul...