I have a confession to make: I’m addicted to Korean movies. This fascination has been going on for quite some time, like 6 years haha. I have no regret of worshiping the whole Korean film industry because they deserve the recognition and success they have. There’s a lot of good movies out there in every genre, to say the least. What really draws me to the industry is their high value for good, daring and brilliant storytelling.
The latest Korean movie I watched, ‘The Beauty Inside‘ completely blew me away. I thought I was only watching a a ‘probably-good’ flick only to find out it’s a deeply moving and thoughtful film.The Beauty Inside is sort of remake of the 2o12 web-film from Intel about a man name Kim Woo-Jin who changes his body and appearance every single day. That’s 365 days of new faces a year of waking up either as a young man or a young woman, old people or a kid, thug looking or good-looking, and sometimes even a foreigner. It’s a difficult life for Woo-Jin who surrendered into solitary seclusion as a furniture maker; devoid of physical relationships aside from his best friend and his mother. However everything changes when he met and fell in love with the beautiful Yi-soo (Han Hyo Joo). Can they make it? Clue: It’s going to be one of the most unforgettable love story out there. Spare the me task of pouring in the details and watch it for yourselves hehe. This trailer will summarize its for me then!
I listed down my reactions about its story and how it connects to real life . So here’s my seven reasons why I love this film:
- Han Hyo Joo delivers! – With 123 different actors playing the same character Woo-Jin, TBI is a very difficult yet a special film to balance and one miscast of the constant female lead would sent the movie to a disaster. Thankfully the charismatic and arguably one of the most beautiful Korean actress Han Hyo Joo delivers another compelling and solid performance to lift the movie to another level. It seems like in every movie she’s in I cant help but google her once again to look for her filmography. Also checkout her other must-see works in Always, Cold Eyes and Heaven’s Postman.
- A unique love story – When you put in so many actors playing the same lover boy (or girl) and all of them good for a day’s scene you know you’re in for a threat. It’s a spectacularly difficult and awkward relationship between Won-Jin and Yi-soo. But as we see them transform from random strangers to a strange couple who has to deal with so many challenges we cant help but feel in love. It’s a supernatural tale grounded to reality that felt so personal and real. It’s a minor miracle the whole story worked so damn well.
- The film shows a life of an artist – One of the plot elements that endeared myself to the story is that it is deeply rooted to an artist’s life. Not just a hobbyist artist, but an actual artist who makes a living out of his craft. Woo-Jin is a great furniture designer. The film does not totally show the his whole creative process from inspiration to final product but basically highlight an artist’s ambitions, occasional selfishness and preference of an isolated life. It really make sense with or without his paranormal condition.
- Brand new appreciation for furnitures – in speaking of art, there’s a lot of great looking furnitures in the movie. I really love those! To be honest, I don’t really took notice the designs in chairs, tables and cabinets. Let’s say I’m converted now thanks to this movie. And I promise I’ll look for a good chair for my studio.
- A metaphor for people with disabilities – Now let’s dive deep to the personal aspects that makes this movie great. If we take a closer look at the movie, one cant help that the story can be seen as a parable about people born with disabilities. Woo-jin’s condition is a supernatural curse and his struggles that goes with it completely reflect how we, people with disabilities, live our lives. One of the main theme of the story is about being ‘negatively’ different from the society. Woo-Jin is the Edward Scissorhands and even the monstrous Beast (in Beauty and the Beast). Woo-jin’s isolated life is a direct symptom of that disability, his difficulty of having a real relationship especially a romantic one is divine pain. Yes, because of our conditions most of us have to live life with shame and insecurities. That’s a hard truth. And society’s misunderstanding, lack of compassion and even bullying isn’t helping PWD at all.
- A different perspective in relationship – things would soon get ugly when you reach the third act of the movie. Just when things start to unravel the script delivers a gut punch on a loop-side relationship. We’ve seen Edward Scissorhand’s and The Beast’s struggle to fight for their love against society, but I don’t think we were given a clearer perspectives on how Kim and Belle would feel fighting for that same love. The Beauty Inside successfully shown the ‘normal’ side’s hurt and psychological descent to the point of depression. In this case,we expereince Yi-soo’s struggle to protect her love for Woo-jin at an even greater expense. Honestly, I don’t think I looked into that perspective and I cant help but feel sorry for every ghosts of girlfriends past.
- Sacrifice and Acceptance – At the end of the day, we have to make sacrifices and acceptance for Love right? The trick is knowing and trusting how much we are willing to sacrifice for that relationship. Sometimes it is really OK to walk away and let go of the other person – because it’s the better choice (right Edward Scissorhands?). But the most important thing we could from this story is about acceptance. Beauty inside is a reminder that real beauty is inside, people just have to learn to accept each other’s imperfection.
Love, that shitty, ugly, painful thing two people go through, is what Beauty Inside is all about. It’s an absolute beauty this one!
The Beauty Inside will be shown on Philippine theaters in 2016.
Note: All pictures in this post are taken from the internet. Credit to the owners.