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200lb Beauty

Posted January. 11, 2007 07:17,   


The movie 200 Pound Beauty is looking to pass the five million mark. The movie resonated with the female audiences by dealing with the fixture on appearances and the plastic surgery craze in the Korean society. The director is Kim Yong-hwa, who was said to “direct comedies well” through his debut movie Oh Brothers. We met this man, who has definitely made his mark in the Korean film industry, on January 8.

― Some view this movie as “victory of a woman who underwent plastic surgery.”

“Han-na, the ‘fat girl’ (Kim A-jung), was happy in her own way, but she was hurt by prejudices against her, so her plastic surgery is justified. But after her surgery, she denied her father and her past, and discarded her values. After a truthful confession, she deals with her pain. It is a victory of truth, not of a woman undergoing plastic surgery.”

―It was a twist that the side character, Jung-min (Kim Hyun-sook), who maintained that “women that undergo surgery are monsters,” choose this option in the end.

“There are more important things than physical appearances in this world, and we know that, but we can’t be free from these ideas. We know, but we want to become more beautiful. This shows what humans are like.”

―You sent a message of “a society where beauties have easier life” than “appearances don’t matter.”

“Men should especially make amends. The movie staffs who usually have a hard time talking to Kim A-jung started to jostle and joke with her after she put on her fat costume. They feel uncomfortable when she doesn’t have her suit on. People actually do like beauties. I just exaggerated it. I wanted to be truthful.”

― Are you defending plastic surgery?

“It can be a way to improve yourself, but it shouldn’t be a desire. Desires cannot be fulfilled. The society is the problem. Placing move values on beauty, society also nags at the people that attempt to enter into that society through plastic surgery. Only those that don’t have stereotypes on external appearances deserve to chastise, but does that person exist? Putting on teeth bracelet and losing weight are all the same in the end, but people only make others feel guilty about plastic surgery. I don’t defend plastic surgery, but it’s ironic that people place such importance on appearances and talk about ‘originality’ at the same time.”

― Audiences point out that you use the theme of physical challenges as a joke.”

“I like the Farelly brothers (directors of There’s Something About Mary and Shallow Hal). They often involve characters with physical challenges, but that means that they’re not biased. They should not appear on movies because they’re challenged? That in itself is a stereotype. We are all full of weaknesses, and in a way we’re all challenged. I deal with them as an equal person, and I don’t portray them comically.”

―What makes a good comedy?

“Comedy is basically pain. I want to draw a two-layered ambiance where the situation is funny, but there is also pain involved. If we try to be funny, we’re sure to fail. Isn’t that life? Joy and pain go together. That is why, though I’m happy with the movie, I don’t become too emotional.