Areumdabda   2008   South Korea Beautiful
Beautiful Image Cover
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Director:Jae-Hong Jeon
Studio:Kim Ki-Duk Film
Writer:Jae-Hong Jeon, Ki-duk Kim
IMDb Rating:6.6 (524 votes)
Awards:1 win
Duration:88 min
Jae-Hong Jeon  ...  (Director)
Jae-Hong Jeon, Ki-duk Kim  ...  (Writer)
Su-yeon Cha  ...  Eun-young
Cheon-hee Lee  ...  Eun-chul
Moo-Seong Choi  ...  Detective Kim
Min-soo Kim  ...  Seong-min
Min Lee  ...  Mi-yeon
Gi-tae Kim  ...  Cinematographer
Hyung-woo Noh  ...  Composer
Comments: I am a Kim Ki-duk fan. This film is based on an original story and co-produced by Kim. I'm not psychic but I'm pretty sure that when Kim was shooting Shi gan (Time), a film about a woman who gets extensive plastic surgery in order to become beautiful, he thought to himself: hmmm, how about a film where a beautiful woman is so bothered by her good looks she tries to make herself ugly. Gosh I'm clever. Let's do it. But he gave it up to somebody else to write the screenplay and direct it.

The film begins with scene after annoying scene of a woman being disrespected because she is beautiful. That's not fun to watch. Little girls want her autograph, hair stylists want to do her hair for free, and of course every man in Korea acts like a complete tool. She is raped and the scene in the police station afterward is about as repugnant as one could imagine in a plot like this. One cop says things to her like "I can see where the rapist is coming from, with a body like that who wouldn't want to score it." Another cop, a young patrolman, treats her with respect and tries to help her. His intentions are good so he'll keep an eye on her and be ready at a moment's notice to rescue her from whatever pops up.

He stalks her in scene after annoying scene as she stuffs her face unattractively with junk food trying to make herself fat. She eats too much and throws up and ends up in the hospital. Then she tries to starve herself into looking gaunt. When she passes out in the park, the young patrolman runs out from behind a tree with a plate of dumplings. "This time it's going to cost you" he says. She gets up from the puddle of puke she's been working on and gives him the evil eye. "Only kidding", he says. Ha ha ha. Then she puts on makeup to look like a "bar girl." These are the steps on the ladder of despair she climbs.

I kept waiting for some signature Kim Ki-duk extreme move to happen, like she takes a blowtorch to her face or something. Of course, the nice young patrolman turns out to be suspect. He buys a coffee pot just like the one he saw in her apartment, and you know what that means. The rapist starts appearing everywhere she goes (in a very ineffectual male J-Horror-Goth-Chick sort of way) and it drives her crazy. But not crazy enough to do something really Kim Ki-duky. Nah. She kills, she dies, and they continue to disrespect her. I think. I dunno, they turned out the lights.

Sorry Kim Ki-duk fans, this is a stupid, implausibly written and acted, big zero. The girl is pretty but she couldn't bring any creditability to such an empty script.

I’m shocked. This film is so bad it’s hardly worth talking about, which you don’t really do much of in your “review” of it. I appreciate the education provided by your contexting of the situation here but it’s kind of like explaining a joke that didn’t go over very well by offering a complete history of comedy in the hopes of finding a spot where unfunny gets laughed at instead of just accepting it as a bad joke.

Maybe it’s a good film and just not my cup of tea, so for a little context of me ... I hated both The Coast Guard and Spring, Summer, etc. for the same reason I didn’t like Beautiful: I don’t like thoroughly banal “cardboard cutouts.” Come on! You don’t really think that eating too much and then not eating enough and finally, to pull out all the stops, putting on makeup constitutes even a semblance of interesting character development, do you?

Maybe Cha Su Yeon is a fine actress, but sometimes a script is so bad that even a divine actress can’t bring credibility to it. I wanted to appreciate Cha Su Yeon (she is very beautiful and she seems to posses an intelligence as an actress), but every time I got close the sledgehammer of stupidity clobbered me in the face. I could see her trying to weave her way through the script, avoiding it whenever possible, but in the end, unfortunately, the script was stronger than she was.

If you skim a few of my reviews you’ll see that, for the most part, I have an extremely high tolerance for the gravity of plot as it weighs on a story. I want genuine characters ... oops, I guess I just disqualified myself from enjoying this film—a film which I can only compare to Danny Pang’s Forest of Death when it comes to Beautiful being obscured by in-your-face dumb. I want genuine in characters and know it must be hard for an actor to pull it off when their face is smeared with incredulity at what the director has asked then to do.

Summary: Eun-yeong is a young woman who finds her beauty to be a curse, drawing unwanted attention from all kinds of men and making other women jealous. Nevertheless, she leads a relatively content life until she is raped by one of her stalkers, Seong-min, who then blames Eun-yeong for the incident, saying, "I did it because you're so beautiful".

Traumatised by her attack, Eun-yeong tries to destroy her beauty, first by attempting to become obese, and when that fails by making herself unattractively thin. When her beauty does start to fade, she becomes alarmed and tries to regain it by wearing gaudy make up and revealing clothes, her behaviour increasingly destructive and unstable. A policeman, Eun-cheol, watches her downfall with pity and sympathy, but eventually he too submits to his lustful desires.

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