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Streamyx was more useless than usual today; I could not even connect to the internet the whole morning. To combat the internet-less hours in an otherwise boring day following yesterday’s ultimately enjoyable karaoke-cum-movie session with James and Sze Shee, I decided to finally watch Happy-Go-Lucky.

At first, I was put off by the fact that the film, being a comedy, was nearly 2 hours long in contrast to its rather 90-minute compact siblings in its genre. The last thing I needed was a snail-paced long-drawn British effort.

I was pleasantly surprised. And in some moments, I was utterly blown away by the Emmy Award-winning Sally Hawkins and her charming portrayal of Poppy, a 30 year-old kinder-garden teacher who has an irresistible zest and optimism for life; yes, she is the personality behind Happy-Go-Lucky. She is bubbly; she laughs at everything; she giggles uncontrollable.

I know, a two-hour film about the upside of positivity seems one-dimensional, yet aided by the inspired performances by Hawkins and great direction by Mike Leigh, Happy-Go-Lucky is more than just a run-off-the-mill comedy, it is about life.

The film tackles the dark side of being pessimistic, unforgiving, angry, and cynical. While Poppy shines like a beacon of enthusiasm, several characters in the film who let the notion of a half empty glass allow life to pass them by. From Poppy’s younger sister who plays by the rules to Poppy’s somewhat disturbed driving instructor who suffers from prejudice and hate, these individuals are the perfect representations of society. Dominated by fear and difference, nothing ever seems right.

Throughout this turbulent month, lots of friends and family have asked me, “Why do you still hope?” or “why don’t you give up?”.

The dastardly scandalous thing would be to live life without hope. Around us wars are being waged every single day and lives are lost in countless tragedies, we are overburdened with news of epic sad proportions.

Somebody told me, “That is why you should not expect too much.” I beg to differ with all due respect. If from the off, you expect something to end badly, then unfortunately, things will go downhill from there. I may pour scorn on The Secret most of the time, but life really is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

You can struggle, stumble, and limp through life, or you can take Poppy’s lead and dance and skip through the complicated conundrum known as life.

Half-full or half-empty, life is what you make it to be.

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