Watch Mad Sad Bad
- 1 hr 57 min
Mad Sad Bad is a critically acclaimed Korean anthology film comprising three separate stories, each exploring themes of madness, sadness, and badness. Built around the theme of supernatural and ghostly presences, the compelling horror-drama flick blends fantasy and reality into a fascinating tapestry of emotions, each story evoking pathos through its distinct narrative. The first story, Mad, follows a young boy who is struck with a strange ailment and finds himself trapped in his own mind, unable to distinguish between reality and illusion. As he tries to make sense of his surroundings, his psychosis grows progressively worse, leading to a visceral confrontation between his imaginary world and the real world. With stunning cinematography and gripping performances from Lee Da-wit and Jeong Min Park, the tale is an engaging exploration of the horrors of the human psyche. The second story, Sad, takes the viewers on an emotional journey of an older lady who roams the streets of South Korea, searching for her long-lost son. As she wanders through the marketplaces and alleyways, she is haunted by memories of the past and her struggles as a single mother, which culminate in a heart-rending finale that leaves an emotional impact on the audience. Soo-Hyun Son truly embodies the lead character's pain and grief, making us feel the depth of her emotions with every passing second of the story. Finally, the third and darkest story is Bad, which focuses on a dysfunctional South Korean family, whose members are grappling with their respective demons. The mother, plagued by guilt and frightened by nightmarish visions, becomes increasingly disconnected from her family, driving a wedge between herself and her husband and son. The father, an unscrupulous businessman, stumbles upon an opportunity to turn his fortunes around and embraces it wholeheartedly, with chilling consequences that ultimately lead to his downfall. The son, meanwhile, is forced to confront his anger and confusion about his sexuality, who discovers something supernatural within his house that starts to scare him. The ambitious story is a reflection of contemporary society and its myriad social, economic and moral problems. What sets Mad Sad Bad's narrative apart is its ability to blend the supernatural with persistent questions that dog humanity such as poverty, moral ambiguity, and mental health. The stories are also woven skillfully to create an overarching theme of the diversity of human suffering, evoking emotion, and relatability for each character. The film is directed and written by a group of talented South Korean directors Kim Tae-yong, Ryoo Seung-wan, and Han Ji-seung, and the screenplay reflects the insight they bring to the essence of each character. The drawn-out subtext of the movie also acts as a reflection of Korean society, which has undergone rapid industrialization and development in the past three decades. In their individual ways, the stories address the sense of disillusionment and displacement among its citizens, both young and old. The saturation of colors, the emphasis on the use of sound, and the horror elements all conspire to make a statement about Korea's transformation and the impact it has had on its people. Overall, Mad Sad Bad is a poignant and thought-provoking film that deserves its high critical acclaim. Without using any explicit violence or gore, the directors create visceral and emotional horror that manages to send a chill down our spines. The insidious nature of the supernatural elements and the haunting sound effects remain with us long after the credits have rolled. Despite the movie's focus on negative emotions such as madness, sadness, and badness, it is ultimately a testament to the resilience and strength of the human spirit. The memorable and haunting scenes shake us to the core as we contemplate the brokenness of human society, yet leave enough hope for a better future.