Happy Old Year is a Thai film released in 2019, starring Bad Genius’ Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying and Brother of the Year’s Sunny Suwanmethanont. The story follows Jean, an interior designer whose first project is to renovate her home into her own stylish and clean-cut office. The film opens with a minimalistic office, with white paint splattered almost everywhere. According to Happy Old Year‘s Jean, this is how you move on.
You have to set your goals according to Happy Old Year.
Jean only entertains emotions when necessary. Her hands-on approach to things comes in handy when it comes to renovating her house. In the film ‘Happy Old Year’, she studies minimalism. Focused on getting her dream office, Jean stops for no one. Her steadfast personality is showcased when she plans to renovate her place without consulting her mother and brother first. She’s so used to getting her own way on things, not even asking for a second opinion once she’s made up her mind. Jean seeks Pink’s help, who happens to be an interior designer as well. She tours her around the house, giving the viewers a hindsight of what she’s dealing with: a decade’s worth of clutter infused on a decades-old house.
The house in the film personifies Jean. Though it might look clean-cut on the outside, it’s actually a dumpsite on the inside. The house is full of Jean and her family’s memories, both good and bad. As part of moving on, Jean plans to carelessly throw everything away without reminiscing. Her past experiences made her who she is now: a woman who cuts off anything that triggers a memory or a feeling, especially the ones she fought so hard to forget. She dumps things as if they were never once important to her. If it weren’t for Pink, all the clutter would’ve disappeared in a snap.
Don’t feel too much.
In ‘Happy Old Year’, Jean goes through a rough patch after seeing her father’s old piano and her ex’s film camera, among the many things that evoke certain memories in the tapestry of her life. She couldn’t help but reminisce the tiny bits of her past, and the confrontations she’s been avoiding for so long. As Pink puts it, some things don’t go away just because you pretend to forget all about them. She puts on a tough façade but concedes later on. Jean knew that these underlying problems can’t go away easily.
Never waver, says Jean of Happy Old Year.
Jean does everything in her power to convince her family that renovating the house is the next best option. Her brother jumps in on the plan, but her mother insisted. This rocky relationship showcases the difference between the Boomers’ lifestyle and the Gen Z lifestyle. In ‘Happy Old Year’, Jean’s mother wants to keep everything as it was years ago when the family was still intact and happy. However, Jean’s mindset involves moving to greater heights and finally moving on with life; albeit rashly. Due to Pink’s voice of reason, she reconsiders keeping some things that still somehow spark joy, after getting a taste of her own medicine. She keeps everything people gave her, in hopes of returning them to their givers. It’s quite amazing though, how she remembers every piece of item she owns and who gave it to her. She feels all sorts of emotions after returning things, reminiscing both good and bad memories.
Don’t add more things.
After giving Aim’s film camera to him personally, he does the same for her and returns the things she left in his place. She finally understood how Aim has moved on completely, that he’s willing to let go of all the things that remind him of Jean. Unfortunately, his current relationship gets thrown away in the trash too, after days of prodding. Jean feels guilty after leaving Aim, and seeing the things that hold their memories fills her with remorse. A great part of her life was spent with Aim, and now he’s throwing it all away like it was some kind of junk. Aim revealed that he didn’t want Jean to feel sorry. He wants her to live with her guilt if she’s really sorry. She only approached him because Jean wants her conscience cleared, not because she genuinely felt sorry for what she’s done.
Happy Old Year showed how things tend to be valuable because of the memories behind them. While some evoke bad memories, some things still deserve to be kept or otherwise given to a new owner for a fresh start. The house signifies their need to move on with their lives. We bury memories deep in our hearts but time waits for no one. Moving on will always be the next best option to entertain growth and maturity. Want to read more articles like this? Click here.
If Florence is not busy with her school works, then she is probably binge-watching TV series and films. She finds it easier to write with the help of playlists she curated. However, she is still looking for the balance between fiction writing and journalism. Because she likes both, she tries to do both even if their techniques and concepts could not be farther from each other.