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Posted December. 14, 2006 07:22,   


In Korea where looks are everything, a good look is power. You don’t want to affirm it but are unable to deny it either. Women are aware that those who vociferously advocate inner beauty do not have the same tendency in their minds. They are glanced at in a different way on days the make-up was done well or when they successfully lose only five pounds.

Released on December 14, 200 Pound Beauty is a comedy movie many female audience members will sympathize with. The frame of the story and characters is borrowed from the Japanese comic book with the same title of which 300,000 copies were sold domestically, and director Kim Yong-wha, who recorded 3.1 million of audience with his first film “Oh! Brothers,” took the megaphone.

Hanna (Kim Ah-jung) is a plump woman who weighs 200 pounds with a “condemned” figure and a divine voice who sings behind the stages of concerts while the singers on the stage lip-sync. She lives on with assiduity with a crush on the record producer Sang-jun (Ju Jin-mo), who recognizes her talent. Hanna disappears after being severely hurt at Sang-jun’s birthday party, to be reborn as a slim beauty Jenny after drastic makeover through plastic surgery on her entire body.

The film provides a variety of spectacles from the stark distinction before and after the metamorphosis of Kim Ah-jung to the dynamic concert scenes. But what makes the film compelling is that it reflects the reality (in a somewhat hyperbolic way). When Hanna visits the clinic for the surgery she says, “I want to live as a human even just for one day.” Kim Ah-jung says that it was easy to throw herself into the character when she heard people on the street murmur they felt sick looking at her with the special disguise on.

When Jenny walks about arrogantly in pretty adornments and when even the taxi driver hit by Jenny’s car is bemused at her beauty, the film becomes funny but bitter at the same time. We are living in a society where 77 percent of female university students go on diets and where it is popular among female TV stars to drop their experiences of plastic surgeries. There must be many people who chew out that their decision to choose the “breakthrough” rather than the message that the appearance is only the hull, and that reflects the victory of plastic beauties.

Kim Ah-jung, who played the principal girl, took the role rejected by many other beautiful actresses and showed her passion by wearing the disguise of latex and compressed cotton in the heat of the summer. Like what Sang-jun says in the film, performing well, rather than working hard, is what matters. And Kim Ah-jung performed very well. She entertains the audience with her artful comic acting, a figure blessed by God, singing better than any other ordinary singers, and embellishes the last scene of the film with her touchy tears during the concert. For ages 12 and up.