Have a Nice Day is a dark, weird and witty film about greed [Review]

Have a Nice Day is a dark, weird and witty film about greed [Review]

The animated film offers a glimpse into modern Chinese’s society’s obsession with money and the lengths to which people will go to get it


The drawing style and colour palette is unconventional in Have a Nice Day.
Photo: Edko Films Ltd

Don’t let the title fool you: Have a Nice Day is a complicated, and at times absurd, dark animated comedy with a few slightly more adult themes.

Xiao Zhang is a lowly driver working for a gang in a small town in southern China. Desperate for money to help fix his fiancée failed plastic surgery, Xiao Zhang steals a bag containing one million Chinese Renminbi from his boss and plans to head to South Korea.

As the news of robbery quickly spreads in the town, everyone joins the hunt for Xiao Zhang and his money – and as you might expect, what follows is plenty of chaos, misfortune, and even violence.

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While some viewers might find the multiple plots and less-than-smooth animation jarring at first, watching this film is actually like reading a well-crafted comic book, whose plot becomes more gripping as it unfolds.

Through carefully selected frames and a witty script, director Liu Jian offers a sharp insight into both traditional and modern Chinese society. The Best Animation Feature winner at the 54th Golden Horse Awards last year is a crime story told with both depth and humour.

While not for everyone, Have a Nice Day has at it’s heart a simple, sincere message: freedom isn’t always about breaking outward, physical barriers, but internal, mental ones.

Edited by Charlotte Ames-Ettridge

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This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
A dark, weird, witty movie


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