- 200 Pounds Beauty
200 Pounds of Beauty
200 Pounds Beauty movie poster
Hangul 미녀는 괴로워 Hanja 美女는 괴로워 RR Minyeoneun Goerowo MR Minyŏ-nŭn kwerowŏ Directed by Kim Yong-hwa Written by Kim Yong-hwa
Starring Kim Ah-jung
Editing by Park Gok-ji Release date(s) December 14, 2006 (South Korea)
February 9, 2007 (EU)
April 19, 2007 (Singapore)
May 17, 2007 (Hong Kong)
Running time 120 min. Country South Korea Language Korean Budget $4,000,000 Gross revenue $45,000,000
200 Pounds Beauty (미녀는 괴로워 - Minyeoneun Goerowo) is a 2006 South Korean comedy film based on a Japanese manga, Kanna-San, Daiseikou Desu (カンナさん大成功です!) by Yumiko Suzuki. The literal meaning of 미녀는 괴로워 is 'Being Beautiful is Agonizing.' The story tells the tale about an overweight girl who undergoes extreme plastic surgeries to become a pop sensation.
The film was a financial success, earning approximately $45 million against its $4 million budget. It also received large critical acclaims, winning Grand Bell's Best Actress for Kim Ah-jung and Best Cinematography together with nominations for Best Film and Best Director.
Han-na is an overweight phone sex employee and a secret vocalist for Ammy, a famous pop singer who actually lip syncs as she cannot sing. Instead of being famous for her own amazing vocal talent, Han-na hides behind Ammy's performance stage and sings during Ammy's concerts, and records all of Ammy's songs. One day, Ammy ungratefully humiliates her in front of the music company's director Sang-jun during his birthday party, knowing full well that Han-na has a crush on him. While crying in the bathroom, Han-na overhears Sang-jun telling Ammy that even though they are just using Han-na for her voice, they must be kind to her so she will not walk out on them. Heartbroken, Han-na attempts suicide but is interrupted by a phone call from one of her phone sex regulars who happens to be a top plastic surgeon. She decides to get head-to-toe plastic surgery instead. The surgeon at first refuses to operate on Han-na, but Han-na threatens to blackmail the surgeon by telling his wife about his calls. Then, Han-na makes a moving speech that she does not want to undergo surgery merely to be beautiful, but for the sake of love and as a boost in confidence, and the surgeon is deeply moved. Han-na puts herself in seclusion for a year as she recovers from the changes.
When she comes back from the hospital, Han-na is incredibly beautiful and slender. No one, not even her best friend, Chung-min, recognizes her. With Chung-min's help, she creates a new identity for herself; she is now a Korean-American from California named Jenny. After auditioning to be Ammy's secret vocalist again, she earns her own recording contract instead from Sang-jun, claiming that she is "all-natural". In the meantime, Ammy, oblivious just like everyone else of Han-na's new identity, desperately tries to find Han-na so that she can record her own postponed album (since she cannot sing the songs herself) by spending time with Han-na's father who is in a hospital with some mental problems, possibly Alzheimer's. Meanwhile, romance begins to blossom between "Jenny" and Sang-Jun, as he continues to promote Jenny, in effect boosting Han-na's confidence in her new self. However, Ammy, through spending time with Han-na's father and Jenny, eventually realizes that this Jenny is actually Han-na in disguise.
During a date one night, as sparks fly, Jenny supposedly strips for Sang-Jun in the character of a nurse, through a phone sex session. After Jenny has fallen asleep, he sees the African character Jenny had drawn on the glass and realizes it was a sign he had seen before. He remembers that when Han-na still existed and he had not met "Jenny" yet, Han-na had drawn exactly the same signs on a sheet of music. Then he adds all of the signs up and realizes as well that "Jenny" is actually Han-na but he keeps this information to himself.
"Jenny's" debut single 'Maria' becomes a hit and the recording company holds a party to celebrate its release. On the day of a party however, Ammy brings "Jenny's" father, in an attempt to blow Han-na's cover. Han-na's father tries to return Han-na's Barbie doll to her, which has always been Han-na's favourite childhood gift from him. Startled by the sudden appearance of her father and not knowing how to react in front of all the people, including Sang-jun, Han-na denies knowing her father and calls him a fan instead when Sang-jun asks her if the old man is her guest. As her father keeps on insisting on giving the doll to Han-na, Sang-jun drags him away from Jenny and accidentally knocks him down onto the floor. Desperate to keep her true identity a secret, Han-na made no move to help her father. It was Chung-min who finally helps him up, casts Jenny a furious look and leads Han-na's father away from the party.
After the party, Sang-jun and 'Jenny' were the only ones left in the room. Sang-jun reveals to 'Jenny' that he knows her true identity but is now cold and distant. He seems to be unable to forgive her for lying to him but says that he will still work to promote 'Jenny' and carry on with her concert scheduled the next day. Han-na breaks down at this point, heartbroken and unable to pretend to be someone else anymore. Han-na tells him that it is incredibly frustrating and painful not being able to be just be herself but have to live a lie, especially in front of him. The surgery that took a whole year to recover from was not nearly as painful as realizing that she still could not be close to Sang-jun. As Sang-jun tries to comfort her, she brushed away his efforts saying, "You broke my heart. Tissue paper cannot fix it."
Sang-jun still insists on continuing with Jenny's first concert, despite protests from the company boss. Later, he encourages a distraught Jenny to do this concert, not for the sake of the fans or the company but for herself, thus implying that he has forgiven her and will continue to support her. At the concert, Jenny can't sing and later breaks down from the pressure of seeing her father being dragged away by security and tells everybody to stop. She then reveals to the public that Jenny is a "fake," and that she is not "all-natural", as she had claimed, but is "plastic". However, nobody seems to believe her. She proceeds tearfully to tell the large crowd her story: how she has abandoned everything that is dear to her - her best friend and father - to get to where she is. She also tells the crowd about how along the way to fame and fortune she has also lost her own identity and that she now no longer knows who she is. Just then, the screens behind her on the stage started to show a clip of the old, obese Han-na, singing angelically. Han-na turns around and sees her old image and tells the crowd that the image is the real her. The crowd, moved by her sincere confession, responds by chanting "It's okay," and Han-na rekindles her relationships with her father and best friend. She drops the stage name "Jenny" and re-releases a CD with her own name, Han-na, and becomes a highly successful music artist, gaining many fans and anti-fans along the way. Sang-jun realizes the very thing about Han-na that had always drawn him to her was Han-na's innocence. However he also realizes that she has moved on and is now content with who she is.
At the end of the movie, Chung-min also asks to get head-to-toe plastic surgery.
It has been rumored since 2009 that a sequel to the 2006 Korean blockbuster hit “200 Pounds Beauty” (or literally in Korean "Being Beautiful is Agonizing") is currently in the works. An official of KM Culture (the production company in charge of the film) revealed that the screenplay has been drafted and that the sequel’s title will be (in Korean) “Being Mother and Daughter is Painful”. Initially, there was plan to make the sequel a continuation of the first movie; however, the production company decided to make the sequel more of a spin-off. The sequel, which will be directed by Kim Jung Min, will deal with the conflicted relationship between a “plastic” mother and non-plastic daughter, who looks just like her mother pre-surgery.
- Kim Ah-jung as Kang Han-na
- Ju Jin-mo as Sang-jun
The title song in the film is a cover of the Blondie song "Maria", sung in Korean by the film's star, Kim Ah-jung. The Korean modern rock band Loveholic also appears on the 200 Pounds Beauty soundtrack.
Track Title Artist 1 Beautiful Girl 김아중 (Kim Ah Joong) 2 별 Star 유미 (Youmee) 3 Maria 김아중 (Kim Ah Joong) 4 Dance With My Daddy Alex Chu (Clazziquai) 5 You Don’t Know I Love You U (유) 6 슈퍼스타 [Super Star] Loveholic 7 튜울립 [Tulip] Venny (상상밴드) feat. 종휘 (Jong-hui) 8 Miss You Much 유미 (Youmee) 9 Beautiful Girl (teaser Edit) 김아중 (Kim Ah Joong) feat. Alex Chu (Clazziquai) 10 바보처럼 [Like A Fool] 김형중 (Kim Hyung Joong) 11 별 [Star] (Original dialog Version) 김아중 (Kim Ah Joong)
Year Award Category 2007 Grand Bell Awards
- Best Actress (Kim Ah-jung)
- Best Cinematography (Park Hyeon-cheol)
Year Award Category 2007 Grand Bell Awards
- Best Director (Kim Yong-hwa)
- Best Film
- ^ http://www.koreanfilm.org/kfilm06.html#200pounds
- ^ http://www.koreanfilm.org/kfilm06.html#200pounds
- 200 Pounds Beauty at the Korean Movie Database
- 200 Pounds Beauty at the Internet Movie Database
- Review at koreanfilm.org
- 200 Pounds Beauty on HanCinema.net
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