Film: Kim Ki-duk, Juhn Jai-hong, Cha Su-yeon, Beautiful - And That's Just F**ked Up

Monday, October 20, 2008

So I finally got a chance to sit down and watch Beautiful and I guess you could say I asked for it - although I'm not completely sure I should have.

Even though I didn't know it was going to be ask dark as it was, when you set down for a Kim Ki-duk film you know you're in for a visceral ride of some sort - but this was just brutal (the pic was helmed by Jai-hong and was written and produced by Kim - Juhn was his former assistant director).

I'm not saying it doesn't have its redeeming qualities - like a lot of Kim's films that show a different side of human nature (think Bad Guy, The Isle and earlier works) - and I'm not saying it isn't a good film at all (or that you shouldn't see it), because it is and Cha Su-yeon puts on an amazing performance - but while I don't cringe at much - this definitely made me blink a few times, and the last scene of the film on top of everything else - that just capped it for me.

Before you end up seeing this movie though, here's a brief synopsis from an article in Variety earlier this year so you'll know full well what you're getting into:

With people always asking her if she’s an actress, Kim Eun-yeong (Cha Su-yeon) feels burdened by her natural beauty. Even her best friend, catty Mi-yeon (Lee Min), who’s about to get her second nose job, expresses surprise that Eun-yeong is still single. And Mi-yeon’s b.f., Min-ho (Kim Beom-jun), starts pestering her with flowers and phone calls, asking for a date.

However, Eun-yeong has another, much more secret admirer, Eun-cheol (Lee Chun-heui), who one day breaks into her apartment and rapes her. Claiming he still loves her, he leaves behind his I.D. and phone number, and turns himself into the cops. In an ironic twist at the police station, the traumatized Eun-yeong finds herself practically cast as the guilty party by a lowlife detective (Choi Myeong-su), who practically accuses her of leading Eun-cheol on with her beauty.

At the end of her tether, and inspired by a overweight girl in a park, Eun-yeong tries to rid herself of her “handicap,” first gorging on fatty foods and, after she ends up in hospital (where even a dosctor comes on to her), exercising and starving herself till she passes out. Still desperate to rid herself of the “beautiful” tag, Eunyeong’s behavior turns even more eccentric — all the time watched by a neighborhood cop (Kim Min-su) who has started to fall for her, big time.
If you end up seeing this film, just remember that you've been warned.