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Korean actresses no longer pretend to be pretty, weak, ingenuous

Korean actresses no longer pretend to be pretty, weak, ingenuous

Posted November. 12, 2013 07:34,   


Korean actresses have changed. They are no longer pretending to be pretty, weak and ingenuous.

Model-turned actress Kim Sun-a plays the role of a woman paralyzed from waist down in the movie "The Five," to be released Thursday. Instead of showing off her slim legs, she rides an electric wheelchair with both legs tied up. After losing her husband and daughter by a murderer, the woman is thirsting for revenge. To express such emotions, Kim`s hair is disheveled and she has bruised face because of fights with the murderer.

Jeon Do-yeon in "The Road Home" plays a woman who is falsely accused of carrying drugs and is locked up in a jail in a foreign country. She doesn`t give off charm of a femme fatal. Ha Ji-won performs a swordsmanship action at "Joseon`s Angels" that will be released in early next year.

Su Ae who attracted 3.22 million viewers for her movie "Cold" this summer dresses plain as she plays a medical doctor who develops vaccines for a fatal virus. She doesn`t pretend to be weak, and struggles with her face smeared in soot and blood in order to save her virus-infected daughter. Han Hyo-joo in "Cold Eyes" plays a female detective with extraordinary talent of observation and intelligence in arresting a criminal.

Korean actresses are no longer stirring up protective instinct. Experts say this is because Korean movies are tilted towards thriller, noire and action movies. Among 13 popular movies that attracted more than 3 million viewers this year, 10 excluding "Miracle in Cell No. 7," "Physiognomy," and “Transformation Man on the Edge" are the so-called "strong and heavy" movies. In a rough and tough atmosphere, actresses` elegance is neither expected nor work.

The number of melodramas and romantic comedies has declined sharply compared with in the 1990s and 2000s. Movie "Theory of Architecture" is one of the few melodramatic movies that recently succeeded, drawing 4.11 million viewers. Movies with the only heroine or romantic comedies have seen sluggish records. "Mina Stationery," a movie that was released this spring with Choi Kang-hee as the only heroine, draw 333,000 people and ""Queen of Night" with actress Kim Mong-jeong attracted just 250,000 people.

A CEO of a movie production firm said, "Twenty-something actresses who has strong ticket power are rarely seen. Lack of movies that use these actresses` image and appearance also affected the neutralization of female actresses." Film critic Kwak Young-jin said, "Many Korean movies have two heroes. Harmony between the two is more important than appearance.

On the disappearance of actresses who contend with appearance, film critic Shim Young-seop says, "It is positive that the Korean society sees woman as a more active and independent subject. Critic Kang Yoo-jeong said, "As actress Yoon Jung-hee plays a heroine role at `Poem` directed by Lee Chang-dong, actresses need to make efforts to melt into their characters. A good example is Tilda Swinton who performed with dentures in "Snowpiercer."