K-Movie Review: 200 Pounds of Beauty

Verdict: The only Korean movie that I think could qualify as a equivalent to the American movie Shallow Hal. The similarities between the two films stop at that point though. While I enjoyed Shallow Hal, this movie didn't really do enough for me. 

Hana/Jenny (Kim Ah Joong) is a bright, light-hearted singer who unbeknown to the outside world is the real voice behind Korean popstar Ami (Ji Seo Yoon). Life is seemingly perfect until the day that Ami humiliates Hana in front of her secret love Sang Jun (Joo Jin Mo) which then spurs her choice to have plastic surgery over her entire body. The movie takes us on a journey of how Hana deals with her drastic transformation, and the people who are affected with her.


Thoughts on the movie:
http://www.asianmovieweb.com/de/pictures/movie/200_pounds_beauty/200_pounds_beauty11.jpgInitially in the first half of the movie I really enjoyed it. The comedic timing was perfect and I LOVED Hana. She was a fun, confidant, woman who had a great voice but her biggest obstacle was that she was overweight and considered "ugly." What really drew me to this character, and essentially the movie, was how full of life she was. While most people would be unhappy singing but not actually be seen singing, Hana was perfectly fine with it. All she wanted was to sing and she got her wish. Her "secret crush" on her music producer, Sang Jun was glaringly obvious to everyone but her. I feel like sometime after his birthday party, if not then, she would have expressed her feelings to him. Thinking back now, I think Hana thought he liked her and that her weight didn't phase him. It wasn't until she found out that she was being used, then came the decision to get plastic surgery, believing that would win his heart.

Sang Jun by the way, was a complete jerk not to mention the biggest idiot on planet earth. He had a jewel and didn't realize how valuable Hana was until she left. And I'm pretty sure he used her liking him to his advantage. He made the same mistake twice. Twice! Using her the first time, then using her again when she was Jenny. The ending was perfect to me, because Sang Jun did not deserve another chance with Hana. I would have been less satisfied with 200 Pounds of Beauty if they ended up together, it was just too impossible at that point.

http://asianwiki.com/images/8/81/200_Pounds_Beauty-008.jpgWhere the movie went south was towards the latter end. Probably because "Hana" no longer existed, and in her place was Jenny. This persona only cared about burying Hana for good even going to the extent of calling her former self ugly while talking with Sang Jun. I don't know about anyone else but that part really got to me. She hated what "Hana" represented so much, she was more than happy to harp insults and ridicule her former self. That a person could despise a part of themselves is mind-blowing, especially to that extent that she did. Another scene that comes to mind is when she disregards her own father all in the name of protecting Jenny. The disgust on her friends face mirrored my own. Jenny wanted to put the past as far away as possible, even her own father wasn't immune to this.

http://www.fareastfilms.com/cmsAdmin/uploads/200_pounds_beauty5.jpgThroughout the movie Hana has to deal with the new "her" and learn to accept who she had become. I will say the last part where she comes to the point where she's tired of pretending that Hana never existed is a great scene. She realized that she could never forget Hana, though some parts of her were physically altered, the rest always remained there. That entire scene where she finally bridges the gap between the two personas and tells the world who she really is was perfect.

Final Thoughts:
Characters: Kim Ah Joong did a lovely job of portraying a person unable to come to terms with the changed person and the fumbles and falls they go through before they eventually accept who they are. I will say that I liked the Hana better than Jenny because not only was she more confidant with her true self but she also never tried to be anything else except who she was. Joo Jin Mo confused me alot throughout the movie and I'm not sure if that was done on purpose or not. Did Sang Jun have some feelings for Hana at all or was it only her voice that he found attractive?? Also the actor who played her plastic surgeon was just so great. I don't know the name but I've seen that actor before in some drama but he stole the show for me whenever he was on screen. That whole interaction with him and Hana during the consultation was hilarious once he found out who she really was.

Theme/Message: I didn't really like the message that you have to change yourself physically in order to be accepted by society. I could be wrong, but I felt that this was the main message of the movie, that transforming ones self in order to conform to society is the only way to entail that you can get accepted. That was my biggest issue with the film, and kinda made it hard for me to fully enjoy a otherwise nice movie.
Music: Not only is Kim Ah Joong an actress but a singer as well. I don't remember much from the soundtrack since the only thing that stood out were these two songs "Byul (Star)" and "Ava Marie."

Memorable Lines: 
"Hana is worthless, but Jenny is worth a fortune."
"You broke my heart, a tissue won't fix it."  

"Desire to become pretty isn't a bad thing."

Sang Jun: "Can't you sing like her (referring to Hana)."

Jenny's father: "God is the only one who can do everything. We humans do what we're capable of."


First Impressions~ Witch's Romance

Who would have thought that after watching two noona-based dramas in the last year, that I would enjoy watching another one. Quite frankly, I had no intention of even watching Witch's Romance but because of some really good marketing on the promoters part, I decided to forge ahead and see if it could live up to the potential seen in the trailers. The verdict? A++.

Following the noon-romance trend of the year, comes the latest drama in the pack. The Witch’s Romance is about a strong, confident reporter who is extremely good at her job. So much that her nickname is literally “witch” because she tends to walk all over her co-workers. After getting left at the alter by her ex-fiancee, Ban Ji-Yeon has given up on true love.

Our lead man Yoon Dong Ha runs a small errand center with a friend. In this business they do anything the customer wants, including teaching a self-defense class or pretending to be Santa Clause for a day. Despite his happy-go-lucky appearance, Yoon Dong Ha hides a secret sorrow, having tragically lost his girlfriend some years back.

When the two meet, immediately sparks incur, and though their age difference might be great, their common interests and shared sorrow bring them together.

Uhm Jung Hwa - Ban Ji Yeon
Park Seo Joon - Yoon Dong Ha
Han Jae Suk - No Shi Hoon
Jung Yeon Joo - Jung Eun Chae
Ra Mi Ran - Baek Na Rae

The cast work well together but what really draws me in (and thus has lead me to becoming a fixture on forums) is the chemistry between Uhm Jung Hwa and Park Seo Joon. Age doesn't factor in the equation at all with these two. Jung Hwa is doing a wonderful job of playing a character who from the outside is strong, confidant, successful woman that has everything together, but on the inside is a vulnerable woman. Coming into this, I had never seen any of her previous work before, but with romantic comedies, she is in her element. Park Seo Joon though relatively new to the acting world, is on fire. Literally and figuratively speaking! He has this "thing" where he never turns off, even when Seo Joon's character isn't in the frame, you can still see him in character in the background. As Dong Ha, he embodies the persona so well, with his expressions and the way he carries himself. Oh, and since this airs on tvN, we actually get REAL kisses!! I don't want to spoil it for anyone but there might/might not be a kiss scene in the first 3 episodes. Just saying!

Another plus to this drama is the momentum is has kept since the first episode. Many dramas, especially in the last year, start off on a high and then fizzle out towards the middle half. And while Witch's Romance isn't half-way yet, it still has been able to keep me glued to the screen in anticipation of the next episode. It has charm, romance, and humor that keeps the show (and audience) on it's toes.