Life through my myopic eyes.

200 Pounds Beauty (2006): Life in Plastic, it’s Fantastic


Ha-Na and Jenny poster for 200 Pounds Beauty

Directed by Yong-hwa Kim (who also co-wrote the screenplay with three others) 200 Pounds Beauty (Minyeo-neun goerowo) is a ‘feel good romantic comedy’ that really hits the spot.

We had seen a trailer for this film about four years ago. It was on a Tartan Extreme DVD and it looked funny as hell. Unfortunately we could not find a copy of the film anywhere. My daughter and I watched clips from the film on YouTube and searched fruitlessly for a DVD with sub-titles.

Fast Forward to 2012. We found a website on YouTube called Eat Your Kimchi (kimchi is a disgusting dish that is made up of cabbage being buried in the ground for months. It is then dug up and eaten. I’ve smelt the stuff and if it tastes as revolting as it smells…) The channel is run by Simon and Martina. Two Canadians who teach English in South Korea and they are YouTube personalities.

Their channel is funny, cute and informative. One of their videos explained how the Koreans felt about personal appearance and the fact that they are not shy about telling you what your shortcomings might be. They feel no shame in telling that you’re ugly, fat, too skinny, or funny looking. In Korea looks are very important. Too important.

If you look at which country has the highest number of plastic surgeries per year you’ll be surprised to find out it isn’t the image concious USA but Korea who ranks number one in going under the knife. Which brings me to the plot of the film.

Kang Ha-Na (Ah-jung Kim who plays Ha-Na in a fat suit at the beginning of the film) is a ‘ghost singer’ for a music promoters big act. The beautiful Ah-mi (Seo-yun Ji) is the singer, but unfortunately, she can’t really sing. Ha-na does it for her while she syncs the words.

Ha-Na works at two jobs. Ghost singer for Ah-mi and she’s a phone sex worker. Because of her caring personality and lovely voice she has a regular list of clients who ring her. She’s doing both jobs so that she can pay for her dad to be in a home. He is suffering from Senile Dementia and when she visits him, he thinks that she is her mother.

Ha-Na is shy and has a huge crush on Ah-mi’s manager/producer Sang-jun (Jin-mo Ju) who values Ha-Na highly because of her  beautiful singing voice. Ah-mi humiliates Ha-Na at Sang-jun’s birthday party. She goes home to commit suicide. She opens all the gas jets in her flat and waits to die.

Suddenly her phone rings. She lets the answer machine take the call and it turns out to be one of her clients. He is a plastic surgeon and she suddenly changes her mind about killing herself. She goes to his office and with a mixture of blackmail and appealing to his ego as a plastic surgeon convinces him to re-make her from head to toe.

She disappears for a year to have all the surgery done. She changes her diet and exercises regularly. After  the year is up she is ‘unveiled’ and she is beautiful. Slender, sexy and stunning she causes accidents when she walks down the street.

The new improved Ha-Na.

A lot is made about her new beauty and how everyone reacts to it. That is where most of the comedy is centred. She still has a huge crush on Sang-jun and she starts following him. This leads to her purchasing a second hand car. As she’s driving it she crashes into the back of a taxi. The male driver insists that its his fault and the traffic cop agrees with him. The female passenger makes the cop check Ha-Na’s drivers license.

The license looks nothing like her as the photograph was taken before her plastic surgery. She gets taken to the station and has to call her best friend Jeong-min ( Hyeon-sook Kim) to come and identify her. Jeong-min rushes into the station but she doesn’t recognise Ha-Na and goes to a drunken fat lady laying on a bench.

What makes this film work so well is the knowledge that South Koreans are obsessed with looking perfect. They have a very set idea of what makes someone attractive and they will go to any length to achieve that ideal.

The other thing that makes the film work is the fat suit at the beginning. It is 100% convincing. Film-makers have used this type of prosthetic before in Wishing Stairs. It looks disturbingly real. This effect combined with Ah-jung Kim’s performance as Ha-Na completely sells the whole idea.

Kim still walks ‘heavy’ after her operations. Despite her new svelte figure, her gait is awkward and lumbering. It takes her a while to get to grips with her new body and she doesn’t just walk ‘heavy’ her movements are those of a heavier person as well. It was her physical acting that helped to really sell that she had been the huge Ha-Na before her surgery.

We had to wait to see this film for ages, but, it was worth the wait. I had a lump in my throat as big as the state of Texas at the films conclusion. A conclusion, I might add, that sends a mixed message. It didn’t spoil the film in the least.

If you like romantic comedies that will make you sore from laughing too much. Don’t miss this film. Fortunately it is available on YouTube. The whole film, not just clips, is there for the watching. If you want your own DVD copy? I wish you good luck and if you are lucky, let me know where you found it.

I give this film a one  bag of popcorn rating. Not because it deserves a lower score, but because you’ll be laughing so much, that’s all you be able to eat.

Tagged as: , , , , , , , , , ,

Categorised in: Asian Cinema, Culture, Feel Good Film, Film Reviews, Korean Cinema, World Cinema

3 Responses »

  1. i totally loved this movie one of my favorite movies ever!! the main girl is really the fat girl i couldn’t believe and i was feeling soo bad for the fat and ugly girl:( they must have gotten a lot of makeup to make the pretty girl so fat and ugly ( no offense) any way this is a must watch movie. I LOVED IT AND I GUARANTEE YOU WILL TOO. I LOVED THE ENDING. I LOVED IT I LOVED IT I LOVED IT !!! oh yeah did i mention I LOVED IT!!!

    • The Koreans have a special affinity for making ‘fat suits’ that are so lifelike and realistic looking that they take your breath away. A Korean horror film called Wishing Stairs uses the same technology to winning effect. But yep, I’ve got to admit, I LOVE this movie as well. Thanks for sharing! :-)

Trackbacks

  1. Ju-On: White Ghost and Ju-On: Black Ghost (2009): Grudge of a Different Colour | MikesFilmTalk

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Goodreads

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 12,999 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 156,761 hits

Liebster Award

Liebster Award

The Versatile Blogger Award

The Versatile Blogger Award

Inspiring Blogger Award

Inspiring Blogger Award

Super Sweet Blogging Award

Super Sweet Blogging Award

The Random Ramblings of Laiyla Lane

The Random Ramblings Of An Ex British Army, Bipolar, Tattooed Welsh Girl 💋

what about the twinkie?

An opinionated idiots views on the world of film.

Box Office Buzz

Entertainment news

The pure Fine Art photography blog

Live the pure award winning artworks gallery experience

THE WAYFARER'S NOTES

BEN GONZALES' BLOG

instantreviewalert

What's Worth It and What's Not !

Marvel-Movie-Maniac

Latest facts, news, predicaments for every super Marvel movie nerd. Are you nerd enough?

Human Relationships

Human Relationships, Marriage Relationships, Children/Parents Relationships, Work Relationships, Friendships, Love, Abuse, Addiction, Support.

pieces of me

Memoirs of a Past Life Tourist

~ L to the Aura ~

sustainability. compassion. inspiration.

The Sister Abigail Show

Activist, Author, Nutritional Consultant, Raw Food Chef

Charlottesweb

Sherlock, Star Trek Fan Fiction. Original Stories Too

Storiform.com

Writing Popular Fiction

Cornelius' Life Story

This blog is about me, growing up in Africa and now in The states pursuing a degree.

MovieScience101

Everything you need to know about science in movies

lionaroundwriting

Let us make an exchange - I provide stories, you enjoy them.

Espen Stenersrød- From Pen To Heart

Jack Kerouac with a scent of Henry Vaughn

GENRE LOVE

Speculative Fiction by Tonya R. Moore

Ludica

A storyteller.

Benedict Cumberbatch

Celebrating Benedict Cumberbatch, his work and his fandom.

pgcps mess - Reform Sasscer without delay.

Fight corruption in PGCPS. Innovate, Change and Transform - Create Transparency and Accountability Initiative.

Vonj productions

Inspiration received and put forth for the good of the people

LeonnaDenisa

Hakunamatata (^o^)/

Caustic Synergy

United and alone in the world

Pulsar Passages

What you see here is "come what may".

meganelizabethmorales

I left my heart in Middle-Earth...

Paul Laight

Writer. Filmmaker. Semi-Pro Comedian. Wageslave

C A M S H I E

Witness The Truth: Spot Your Greatness

COURAGE TIMES THREE

A fine WordPress.com site

All Food Cooking Recipes

The Original European Cooking Recipes. All Cooking Recipes. All Continental Recipes. All Mexican Recipes. Italian Recipes.

FY HI!

A particular remarkable and usually surprising bit of information

Words n' Clouds

News told by words, news shown in clouds

Abby Mabb

Snarly female. Occasional book reviewer.

Dream, Play, Write!

Today, make a commitment to your writing.

Indie Hero

Brian Marggraf, Author of Dream Brother: A Novel, Independent publishing advocate, New York City dweller

behindtheglamorsblog

This World Is Not Perfect Like You Still Imagine

Craig Lumen

Characters

Travel Magazine New Zealnd

For the Love of travel is New Zealand’s premium Travel Magazine

Ventaforce

Network Engineering Software By Sankalp

Indo Africa Times

Reed to succeed in Africa !!!

Subterranean Cinema - Redux

the return of Don Alex

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 12,999 other followers

%d bloggers like this: