It’s Okay to Not Be Okay is receiving positive reviews for its solid story and sensuous directing that highlights the actors’ passionate performances.
The scenes that have captivated the viewers are episode 1) a comical visual effect scene where a patient threw up on Moon Kang Tae, episode 2) a sequence depicting “happiness” of Moon Sang Tae, who is suffering from autistic spectrum disorder, episode 3) a touching episode of patient Kwon Ki Do, episode 4) a scene where Moon Kang Tae’s inner desire to be loved by someone is depicted through his childhood.
In response, director Park Shin Woo shared the key points of his directing in It’s Okay to Not Be Okay.
“I usually ponder over the drama’s ‘tone and manner’ when I am directing, but because It’s Okay to Not Be Okay has such a distinct personality that I was worried about whether to follow or neutralize that personality. Of course, I will admit that there are more unique parts than the script because of my taste.”
“The script had a clear story and topics. I wanted to convey the sincerity of the story even if it took a while to empathize and understand the subject or character. I think the story will get very attractive if you accept the unfamiliar parts and some unusual parts. So I wanted to focus on finding a way of directing just for this story.”
About the scene in episode 2 – a sequence depicting “happiness” of Moon Sang Tae on his way to the signing event of his favorite storybook writer, Go Moon Young – that drew explosive reactions, he explained, “The script showed the happiness of Moon Sang Tae, and when I visited the filming location, there were lots of fun things. There were lots of mannequins, cherry blossom streets, umbrellas, pretty birds in spring posters hanging all over the street, dancing signs, and even raining murals. I wondered how these things would be seen in the eyes of happy Sang Tae. I think I wanted to do that even more (making the sequence) because people with autism spectrum are often portrayed only in unstable and scary ways.”
About directing Go Moon Young, who has an antisocial personality disorder, he said, “I wanted to make Moon Young’s possessiveness and obsession feel similar to that of a young child who wants to have a toy at the beginning of the drama. How Moon Young, who doesn’t understand emotions, changes is the key point of the drama.”
The fairytale in the drama is also an indispensable factor. The storybooks, which have confirmed the release in real life, stop motion animations, and epilogues, have become the talk of the town. Director Park Shin Woo said, “We didn’t create them to emphasize the fairytale codes. The theme of the work, and the history and inner stories of the main characters, are often embodied in these fairytales. The writer has put a ton of effort in writing them, and because they have such strong connections with the drama, I wanted to introduce them in detail.”