- 1 hr 55 min
Hahaha is a 2010 film directed by Hong Sang-soo and starring Kim Sang-kyung, Moon So-ri and Yoo Joon-sang. The film is a comedy-drama that revolves around the lives of two friends- Jo Moon-kyung (played by Kim Sang-kyung) and Bang Jong-sik (played by Yoo Joon-sang)- both of whom are aspiring writers. The movie unfolds as the two friends take turns recounting their past experiences during a vacation in the beautiful coastal city of Tongyeong.
The film essentially reveals two parallel stories that overlap in interesting ways. Moon-kyung and Jong-sik are both in Tongyeong at the same time but they are not together. Moon-kyung is taking a break from his job as a film critic in Seoul and has gone to Tongyeong to try and write a new screenplay. Jong-sik, on the other hand, is in Tongyeong to revisit an old flame after his recent divorce.
As the two friends chat online from different locations, they realize that they have both had some significant encounters in Tongyeong with the same people- including women they've been involved with romantically. They begin to share stories and memories of their experiences with these people, and their narratives interweave in unexpected ways. Through their stories, we get a glimpse into the complexities of their relationships and experiences, as well as their perspectives on life, love, and writing.
One of the elements that make the film unique is the way it's shot- primarily in long, unbroken takes. This adds a sense of realism to the story as we witness the characters' conversations and gestures in real-time. The dialogues between the characters are witty and natural, and the setting in the coastal city adds a picturesque backdrop to their conversations. The contrast between the natural splendor of the city and the characters' internal complexities creates an interesting tension that keeps the audience engaged.
In addition to the film's interesting structure and engaging dialogues, the performances by the lead actors are also noteworthy. Kim Sang-kyung is excellent as the reserved and introspective writer who grapples with love and relationships, while Yoo Joon-sang brings a certain charm and self-deprecating humor to his portrayal of the downtrodden and bumbling Jong-sik.
Another commendable aspect of the film is its exploration of the creative process. As both Moon-kyung and Jong-sik struggle with their writing, their conversations reveal their perceptions of the challenges and rewards of the creative life. The film also touches upon the themes of memory and nostalgia- as the characters reflect upon past experiences and their consequences.
Overall, Hahaha is a charming and captivating movie that deals with universal themes of love, friendship, and creativity in a refreshingly nuanced manner. The film's unconventional structure and engaging performances make it an enjoyable watch for anyone interested in character-driven stories with depth and humor.