200 Pounds Beauty

Reviewed by: sanpellegrino

June 05, 2007

Rating: five

Believe in the hype. 200 Pounds Beauty not only boasts an excellent cast (laden with hot guys and girls) but is a hilarious, sharp, and profoundly touching movie.


Kang Hanna (Kim Ah Jung), 200 pounds, fat and unattractive works as a singer. Only she's actually singing backstage for a beautiful Ammy, a superficial once-backstage-dancer who simply can't sing. Hanna is head over heals for the music company's director Sang-Jun (the gorgeous Joo Jin Moo). After a post-show party, Kang Hanna overhears a conversation between Ammy and Sang-Jun. Sang-Jun basically derides Hanna for being fat and tells Ammy to "be nice", as they are only using her. He even tells Ammy to stop reminding him how repulsive Kang Hanna looks. The conversation devastates Hanna, and she goes home to try and kill herself. However, she fails, and instead decides to go to a plastic surgeon to get a full body makeover. It takes some convincing, but the surgeon finally agrees. The results are shocking: Kang Hanna is now a "beautiful girl".

The new Hanna now lightly strides around, proud of her beauty and happens to walk by a promotional event organized by her music company, once again seeing her still-beloved Sung-Jun. With him, is Ammy, who, with Hanna's disappearance for over a year, has moved down to merely acting on cheap sitcoms. Hanna then tries out to be Ammy's lip sync vocalist, but this time, the company decides to make Hanna the actual star. Based on the premises that Hanna is a "natural" beauty, she is advertised as such, and in addition to her beautiful voice, she rises to fame and stardom as "Jenny". Sang-Jun even falls for her, and things go smoothly until Ammy and Sang-Jun both discover who Jenny really is. Sang-Jun immediately draws away from her, and Jenny is almost prevented from having her first concert.

However, the company decides to just go through with it, as Sang-Jun refuses to cancel the concert. Jenny starts crying during her concert, and admits the truth to her audience, who are shocked at first, but grow supportive, yelling "It's okay Kang Hanna!" The screens on-stage show the fat Kang Hanna singing, while Jenny sobs, trying to sing as well. The film ends with Jenny rising into stardom, and a change of roles: Sang-Jun is now the one pining for Jenny, while she seems to love him no longer.

My comments:

This movie is perhaps the best I have yet to see (and believe me, I've seen many) of Asian movies. 200 Pounds Beauty combines a mixture of comedic, tragic, and emotionality in its script and characters without being cheesy. If you look beyond the plot, you can see that the film actually explores and emphasizes many themes that reflect our society today: our obsession with appearances, our superficiality and our constant judging of books by their covers, the power of beauty, etc. The movie also parodies the Korean plastic surgery craze, obvious with the ending credits of the film, where Hanna's best friend goes to the same surgeon.

(Surgeon: "So what would you like to fix?"
Hanna's friend: "Everything")

But moreover, everyone, especially girls, can find something in common with the characters of the film – insecurities with their appearances, the desire to be beautiful, futile wishing...

Even the music is awesome, always suiting each scene perfectly. You can find the OST in bjunkyard.com, by the way.

200 Pound Beauty is not a movie to miss. You'll laugh, you'll be on the verge of tears… you'll never forget the 200 pound beauty, and I'm sure that you'll be re-watching the film just a few days later.

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