Maundy Thursday aka Our Happy time (2006) by Song Hae-sung

‘’Maundy Thursday’’ is a film about the story of two broken and lonely souls.


‘’Maundy Thursday’’ also known as ‘’Our Happy time’’ is directed by Song Hae-sung who also directed the exceptional ‘’Failan’’. ‘’Maundy Thursday’’ is based on the bestselling novel with the title ‘’Our Happy time’’, written by Gong Ji-young. In the film, Kang Dong-won stars as Jung Yu-soo and Lee Na young as Moon Yu-jeong and both won a nomination for best actor and best actress at 2007 Baeksang Arts Awards and 2006 Blue Dragon Film Awards, respectively.

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Moon Yu-jeong (Lee Na young) is an art professor at the university and former singer coming from a rich family. Nerveless, an awful incident from her childhood years leads her to several suicide attempts. After her third failed attempt to commit suicide, Yu-jeong's aunt, Sister Monica, forces her to visit with her the prisoners at Seoul Detention House, maybe as an effort to make Yu-jeong appreciate her own life. As they walk the aisle of the prison, accompanied by Officer Lee (Kang Shin-Il), Moon Yu-jeong encounters a prisoner with a red numbered sticker reading 2896 (Oh Gwang-Rok). Officer Lee informs her that he is a ‘’Big Timer’’, meaning a criminal on death row. However, the purpose of their visit to prison is another. It’s to meet a young prisoner named Jung Yun-soo (Kang Dong-won) who wants to hear Moon Yu-jeong’s singing. Jung Yun-soo is also a ‘’Big Timer’’. Moon Yu-jeong is intrigued by Jung Yun-soo and continues to visit him in prison every Thursday. An unexpected and unconventional love for each other begins.
Obviously, the unusual relationship between Moon Yu-jeong and Jung Yun-soo does not start on the best of terms, since Jung Yun-soo is a convicted criminal after all. But Moon Yu-jeong and Jung Yun-soo are very similar and that is why they are drawn to each other. The first indication that these two ostensibly different persons have much more in common than meets the eye, is perfectly presented by what they utmost fear. When Moon Yu-jeong hears the greatest fear of Jung Yun-soo she starts to see herself in him.

Moon Yu-jeong is not like any other person that Jung Yun-soo met. She is straightforward, very honest even cynical and does not ask Jung Yun-soo to redeem like anyone other does. Moon Yu-jeong’s character is what captivates Jung Yun-soo and subsequently accepts her visits. On the other hand, Moon Yu-jeong continues her visits since Jung Yun-soo shows true regret about his wrongdoings and a will to die as soon as possible as, which moves her. These meetings gradually change both of them. They both begin to love again, they both start to trust again and they want to try new things. Now, they both have a desire to live.

Moon Yu-jeong so desperately wanted to put an end to her depressed life and now, after meeting Jung Yun-soo, she finds a new purpose in her life and she desperately wants to live. The same goes for Jung Yun-soo. All his life, from his lonely and poor childhood years to his difficult adult ones, he never had a truly joyful moment until he meets Jung Yun-soo and learns what means to truly love and be loved.


The two scriptwriters Jang Mi-seok and Park Eun-yeong do an exceptional job in making the viewer to show compassion for Jung Yun-soo by giving glimpses of his tough childhood life, which he spent with his blind brother. The scenes between the two young brothers are utterly heart-breaking and will force the viewer to genuinely shed tears. The heart-whelming feeling is also achieved by the magnificent performance of the two young actors, namely, Eun Won-jae and Lee Byeong-joon that portray the young Young Yoon-soo and Young Eun-soo, correspondingly. Generally, the scriptwriters made an excellent work in converting the book into a screenplay and they won the Award For Best Screenplay at 2006 Chunsa Film Art Awards.

Beyond the main theme which is "love can be found everywhere, even in the uttermost extraordinary situations", there are other important issues stressed and underlying messages given. Among them is the theme of the right or wrong to execute convicts, especially in the cases where they are not definitely proven that they are the true culprits. In addition to this, the physiological impact that the execution has to the officers responsible for the execution is presented. Another issue that is highlighted is the accusations the rape victims receive by the society and even by the members of their family regarding the rape being their fault. Finally, the meaning and importance of forgiveness are emphasized, either this is truly coming from the heart or either the reconciliation is forced.


Lee Na-young's acting is remarkable. She manages to present in an excellent way her character’s torment and the great hate towards her brother and especially towards her mother, which is undoubtedly justified as it is disclosed later in the film. Kang Dong-won who portrays Jung Yun-soo shows the same strength of acting. At the start of the film, he presents a violent nature and causes the viewer to believe that he unquestionably deserves to be in prison. Gradually, the presence of Moon Yu-jeong changes Jung Yun-soo’s character. Furthermore, with the use of flashbacks, the viewer gets an inside look at his life and his true character and starts to truly feel Jung Yun-soo’s pain.

Director Song Hae-sung proves onve more that he is an accomplished director. The scenes that certainly stand out are the ones where Jung Yun-soo is behind the glass in prison and Moon Yu-jeong is on the opposite side. When the camera focuses on either of them, the other's reflection is shown on the glass and in this fashion, the emotional expressions of the two protagonists can be seen at the same time.

The background music by Lee Jae-jin is extraordinary and fits the film perfectly. So, it comes as no surprise that the music was nominated for Best Music at 2006 Blue Dragon Film Awards.

‘’Maundy Thursday’’ is a film about the story of two broken and lonely souls. A story about two phenomenally different humans, two persons with different financial and social statuses, that below the surface are very much alike. They both experience the pain of losing someone dear to them, they both have the same anxieties, they both want to put an end to their miserable life and they both are wronged by the people close to them, and by the society. Still, these two found love, not only the type of love that a woman has towards a man and vice versa, but most important the love towards another human being. The compelling and deeply touching story of the two protagonists makes this movie a must watch.


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Asian Film Vault: Maundy Thursday aka Our Happy time (2006) by Song Hae-sung
Maundy Thursday aka Our Happy time (2006) by Song Hae-sung
‘’Maundy Thursday’’ is a film about the story of two broken and lonely souls.
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