Movie Review: A Filipino-Korean Film "Sunshine Family"

June 07, 2019

Sunshine Family, a movie about a family living in South Korea. They are set to come back to Philippines in a few days but an accident happened. The father "Don", played by Nonie Buencamino, got in a hit-and-run accident. The whole story revolved around keeping their family together despite what happened.

There are different reasons why I wanted to watch this film. First reason was this film is a Filipino-Korean film. For those who knew me ever since the start, you'll know that I am a K-enthusiast. The cinematography and the plots of Korean movies and dramas are really good. So I was really expecting a lot.

Second, the trailer of the film was so captivating, especially Sue and Shinwoo's part. "Shine, Mahal Kita!" "G*go"  This part actually made everyone I know laugh. Third, I badly want to live in South Korea and this film might help me gain some insights about living there as a Filipino.

Last June 4, I was invited by Spring Films to attend the Celebrity Screening which was held at the Trinoma Cinema 6. And here are my honest thoughts about the film (which may or may not contain spoilers).

Things I liked about Sunshine Family

1. How it showed the differences and similarities of the two cultures

Filipinos and Koreans surely have different cultures. This film actually did well in showing these cultures. I actually learned new things about Korean culture.

During the film, I told my friend, "Kahit pala sa Korea may chismosa din no? (It seems like there are also gossipers in Korea, right?)" The film showed that gossiping is really a part of people's lives but it can harm you. Another similarity that I have seen in the film is giving food to your neighbor. Both Filipinos and Koreans love to give food to their neighbor whenever they cooked something special that day.

One thing that I have noticed in the film, although it was just a short part, is that Koreans put a lot of value on their work to the point that taking breaks or leaves are not recommended. One employee was asking for a "paternal leave" and the boss does not allow him.

2. Great actors and actresses 

The actors and actresses really did well in portraying their characters. They are not afraid about their looks. They only care about the right emotions that should be felt in the film. The love can truly be felt from this true to life couple, Mr. and Mrs. Buencamino. I guess being a true to life couple helped them portray their characters even more. It doesn't seem like they were acting, it felt like they were showing their true selves. And it was very effective.

Not only that, the Korean veteran actor Han Tae Ill really put a big smile on my face. I never had the chance to be close with my grandfather but seeing him in this film made me want him to be my grandfather even if he can't remember that much already.

3. Not forced comedy scenes

Most of the time, I hate films who seem to be trying hard to make people laugh. But this film is not one of them. They are just using simple gestures, simple lines, yet it left a great impact.

The people watching this during the celebrity screening are laughing and clapping their hands whenever the comedy scenes came. Aside from the scene where Shinwoo shouted, "Shine, Mahal Kita" and Sue answering "G*go", another funny scene that I really loved the most was when the old man took the snowman inside the car and said "Nunsaram" which means snowman. I really liked how he said it. (You should really watch it to understand more about what I am saying).

Their strategy in this film is what I want to see in other Filipino films, simple lines and gestures yet impactful.

Things that can still be improved

Although I have liked a lot of things about the film, I still think that it could be better and there are other things that could be improved.

1. Sue's and Shinwoo's characters and love plot

To be very honest, I was looking forward to see Sue and Shinwoo as the main characters here, since they are the most promoted ones. But while I was watching the film, it felt like both of them were just side characters that will add scenes to the film. Maybe because this film is a comedy-drama film that is why their characters were not given much dramatic feels.

During the film, I was carefully thinking if their characters were really needed in the film. Because I really felt like the story can go on without the two. But when I arrived home, I realized that somehow, they played a role and showed the situations of families nowadays.

Sue, being in a relationship with Shinwoo and pretending to be pregnant, made his father realize that he really doesn't know his children anymore since he started working. It can really hit parents' emotions. A lot of time, the parents are too busy providing their children a good life that they forget to be with them in their life. They always think that they should give their children all their needs but forgets to be there when they needed them the most.

I believe that their character has a purpose but I was still expecting for a deeper use of their characters. The film somehow lacked in this area. The character development were not really developed well.

2. The use of Korean language

It is really hard to speak Korean. I know it. Trust me. I've been there. I applaud the actors and actresses for doing their best in speaking the language but it somehow felt awkward. It's not the pronunciation that made me feel awkward since I understand how hard it is to speak the language. It is the shifting from a Korean conversation to English. Asking in Korean and answering in English, and vice versa.

For me, it felt like "Ah I can't memorize these statements, I should just use my language on the next sentences". I can't actually give a suggestion for this part's improvement because I still lack knowledge about script writing, but I guess it would have been better if they just tried conversing on a certain language in each scene.

Final thoughts (things I realized) about Sunshine Family

It wasn't a perfect film. But it is a good film to make every member of the family realize that love is the most powerful thing in the world. Love will keep the family together and love will allow you to accept everyone no matter what situation they are in.

Even if one member made a huge mistake, it's the family who will stay by your side. It is them who will be with you through the darkest times. And these darkest times are the times that families should stand by each other. Like what Sonya said in the film, "Edi mahalin na lang natin sila". We may feel disappointed with a fellow family member, but I believe that accepting them and loving them will eventually erase all of these disappointments.

Although the film failed to make me cry, it still has touched my heart and made me remember my family and all the love they have offered for me.

So the question is, do I recommend you to watch Sunshine Family? My answer is, Yes, you should especially if you're looking for a not-so-heavy-plot films. The casts and the staff really worked hard to produce this film. Do watch it with your family. The film will really make you want to hug your family.

So what are you waiting for? Make sure to visit the theaters now and watch Sunshine Family.

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All photos used in this blog post are from Spring Films. I would like to thank Spring Films for the invitation at the press conference and the celebrity screening. Photos during the press conference and celebrity screening can be seen on our Facebook page.

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