Sunday, 29 May 2016

''Happy-Go-Lucky'' (2008 film)- Review

Directed by: Mike Leigh
Released: 2008
Country: United Kingdom

Genre: Comedy-drama

Rating: 3.5 out of 5


''Happy-Go-Lucky'' is the story of Poppy Cross, played by Sally Hawkins, a cheerful 30-year-old schoolteacher who stays happy and cheerful no matter what happens. She keeps her spirits up, for example, even when her bicycle is stolen, or when a bookstore employee rudely ignores her. The film explores Poppy's life: her friendship with Zoe, a fellow schoolteacher and her housemate, her cheerful demeanor with her students, her relationship with her family, her Flamenco lessons. She takes driving lessons from a driving instructor, Scott, played by Eddie Marsan, who is grim and often rude, and disapproves of Poppy's ever-cheerful spirits. This forms an integral part of the story. No matter how much Poppy tries, she is never able to develop a normal friendship with Scott.

''Happy-Go-Lucky'' is like a drop of sunshine: a cheerful little film that has its ups and downs. Sure, there are serious- very serious moments- but overall, this is a film that will often make you smile. 

I greatly admire Mike Leigh's works. His 1996 film ''Secrets & Lies'' remains one of my favorite films ever. I think the greatest strength of his works is the way he takes his time to develop his characters and the situation. He makes us deeply attached to the characters but when happens smoothly, steadily over the course of the film. This is what he does, showing us glimpses from their everyday lives, he makes it possible for us to appreciate his characters.

Poppy, for example, is a person who is happy and wants to makes others happy. The other main character, Scott, is just the opposite: pessimistic, rude, and grim. The film is not monotonous at all. In spite of the film showing us just the ordinary things that our characters do in their everyday lives, it works really well and has a charm of its own, which works really well since over the course of the film everything is developed wonderfully- the characters, the plot, everything. Every moment of it is enjoyable, and of course, there is a climax- an unexpected climax- that contains very intense, realistic performances by both Sally Hawkins and Eddie Marsan. All the character and plot development throughout the film culminates in a climax that is pretty intense and touching. The screenplay is great and Mike Leigh gives us a film that leaves us impressed. 

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