200 Pounds Beauty

It’s a beautiful Sunday afternoon and I never thought I could actually sit down and enjoy a good Korean movie. I remember seeing my former boss’ FB status a few days ago, wherein he lamented about how old Asian movies relied a lot on storytelling that emphasized on “show” instead of “tell”. He used one of my favorite classic HK films, Love On A Diet, as an example. I guess I missed watching entertaining and heartwarming movies like those, so today, I curled up with 200 Pounds Beauty, a Korean dramedy about love, loneliness and plastic surgery.

Once upon a time, there was a “fat and ugly girl” named Hanna, who was desperately in love with this guy:

Because of her appearance, she was burdened by a deep sense of insecurity that made her feel that she could never do anything right.

Except for one thing:

Her beauty (or lack thereof) is inversely proportional to her voice. She works as a “call center agent” (it’s actually less wholesome than that, hence the quotations) because it was the kind of job that did not require her to show her face at all.

Unfortunately she also did ghost singing for a sexy and beautiful diva, whom the dude up there (*points to first picture*) happens to manage.

Hanna would have been contented with the arrangements if she could have moments like this:

The diva she sang for, however, had to humiliate her publicly so she decides, with the help of advanced medical science, to turn herself into this:

Everyone — except her dog — could not recognize her, which means that she could rebuild her life from scratch.

Or could she?

200 Pounds Beauty is based on the Japanese manga Kanna-San, Daiseikou Desu (カンナさん大成功です!) written by Yumiko Suzuki. It’s funny, sad and cheesy all at the same time. While I don’t endorse resorting to extreme measures in order to live your life to the fullest, I suppose it doesn’t hurt to put ourselves in the shoes of those who had plastic surgery (and regretted it!!!) once in a while.

For my part, I kinda feel sorry for women who had to undergo so much ridicule for looking less than perfect then be ridiculed all over again when they actually do achieve that “perfection”. (Remember why actress Heidi Montag underwent surgery? People were encircling her chin in their blogs while saying mean things about her looks. Then when she finally became beautiful via plastic surgery, people started dissing her for not embracing her God-given looks. *Sigh* You can’t win!!)

This is a light-hearted Asian movie, though. Its humor could work for our culture, but I doubt it would be as cute if it were remade by Hollywood. Ohhhh…and this has a Japanese counterpart, Kanna’s Big Success, which my cousin reviewed for my other blog.


  1. The Reluctant Stylista

    October 30, 2011 at 11:52 am

    I loved how the movie ended in terms of their relationship. 🙂

  2. CafeMobility

    October 31, 2011 at 10:37 am

    i can relate. 

    who dictated the collective concept of beauty by the society. we will never know perhaps. in this universe, our perspective of the word “beautiful” only connotes one thing, slender, tall, fair, and whatever the hollywood and pageants tell us. 

    but perhaps in another universe(from among the many universes), everything is different, from the perception of beauty to the formation of government to the concept of time. 

  3. Juno_morro

    November 4, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    one of my favorite movies.. i like the part where her father recognized here though  she changed her appearance.. it happens in real life.. it happened to me..

  4. skysenshi

    November 5, 2011 at 12:56 am

    Wow, do tell us about your story. 🙂 I'd love to hear it.

  5. forsakinghalfloves

    November 5, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    “This is a light-hearted Asian movie, though. Its humor could work for our culture, but I doubt it would be as cute if it were remade by Hollywood. “

    This is true, not a lot of remakes are successful. I caught the Hollywood remake of “My Sassy Girl” on cable and to put it mildly, I didn't like it at all. There was something lacking, and it wasn't as emotional or as compelling as the original. I felt that they forced it too much to work in the Western context .

    I like these kinds of films because they exercise a kind of restraint. I guess some people might consider it prudish but I like that when they finally do kiss or hold hands or finally say that they love each other, it means so much more.

  6. skysenshi

    November 6, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    My sister super hated it as well. The Western girl was being pa-cute. It wasn't natural and really didn't fit their culture at all.

    True about the restraint! If they ever do kiss at all, since I notice some of these movies don't even need to show a certain level of physical intimacy to depict emotional intimacy. 😀

  7. forsakinghalfloves

    November 7, 2011 at 6:12 am

    The slow pacing of the stories, the silences between characters….it's these quieter, more subtle moments that make an impact, that make a scene more poignant.

  8. Bagotilyo

    November 12, 2011 at 9:56 am

    this post capture my interest to watch the movie 🙂

  9. CafeMobility

    November 12, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    are you still busy miss bea? how your dissert. 

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