So I was waiting for my food at a new local café and started watch the TV it was a Korean film a rather old Korean Film, 200 Pound Beauty or something like that. So yeah I kind of loitered at the restaurant until it ended ordering a few more things and eating slowly. Good thing it was a slow day and yeah I tipped better that day too. At any rate it was a good film and I admit I nearly got teary eyed in public at the end but was able to hold them back by summoning all the hatred from my being.
So like every Korean romantic comedy it starts out fairly light hearted and getting kind of serious at the end. The story centers around a heavy weight singer named Hanna whose voice while excellent is not enough to make her desirable or even marketable as pop star as I guess in East Asia ad contracts make more money than selling music given the rampancy of piracy in those parts. Pity perhaps if she were American she could have been another Arethra Franklin, though, in the modern era such a replay of history is rare and the Queen of Soul was once an average sized lady. Such is the pathetic state of her weight that even her father with his failing memory is wondering why she gets larger. Even her best friend says she is fat and the public face of her voice idol, Ammy, uses Hanna’s condition as a weapon to ridicule her and frustrate her advances on the producer. In the end after being humiliated and accepting the truth that she was being used Hanna tries to commit suicide once again. Thankfully her other job as a sex phone operator brings her into contact with a customer who happens to be a plastic surgeon.
Yeah he’s that kind of asshole.
Opting to change her life rather than end it Hanna convinces her customer to perform an operation on her. The doctor resists at first and tells Hanna that she might die from the amount of work needed. In this light the doctor is not wrong given that there is a mandatory 2-3 month recovery time between operations and the risk of death is ever present. Now I am not sure if there was a message intended by all this on whether or not Hanna was being vain or weak for wanting the operation. The way I see it is Hanna needed a crutch in life like all people. Hanna had her unrequited love and once that was dashed she had nothing else. Not to mention that being called ugly and fat by a person you thought was trustworthy is going to hurt one way or another. Hanna did not take my kind of action and get even and cut off Ammy’s nose to spite her face, but being the kinder gentler soul that she is, she wanted to get a new lease on life.
Hanna’s solution was dangerous, but ever since I met people who under went involuntary plastic surgery to put them back together again after combat or other unforeseen accidents while on duty I am now far more hesitant to condemn this sort of thing. I use to think it cowardly but after being regaled by stories of what these brothers in arms told me it takes some courage to go under the knife or at least overwhelming desperation. I suppose even the bravest of us fear getting slowly cut up on some table while having you innards exposed while the doctor operates on you as you are asleep but alive with those awful looking instruments. More over there is always the fear that you might wake up in the middle of it or be aware of the operation but immobile and helpless. If we suppose that it is what is on the inside that counts then it should by standard reasoning that even if the outside was surgically modified it is irrelevant because what was on the inside was not altered, i.e. the soul. Contemporary sentiment is that plastic surgery is for beautifying the rich and not about democratizing beauty and leads to a more shallow society. Perhaps this is somewhat true but if we look at those who undergo plastic surgery we can usually tell who they are (e.g. Micheal Jackson and Janet Jackson). In this film women who do undergo plastic surgery are for all intents and purposes become Frankenstein’s monster. A being that is not human any more but born of human artifice rather than being the work of nature or some higher being.
Go Fortuneteller Guy only in for the first five minutes and yet still able to score a bit of poster space.
Hanna was obese and had she continued being obese then complications would have set in that would have made life difficult, arthritis, diabetes, heart trouble, etc. I won’t mince words and I think that people who are obese are just as fool hardy as those who opt for plastic surgery given the health risks inherent in both. I am glad that they are happy with themselves in either case, but in the case of obese people I cannot help but feel that they are devaluing their lives by remaining in their condition. It’s not right that they get ridiculed for being fat, but I think that ridicule for being foolish is in some ways justified given the health complications, more so if they have a family to raise. I am part of a military tradition that demands physical fitness because running around in the sand box with a full combat load and body armor requires endurance and those who are sluggish or tired will probably get themselves killed and/or get others killed as well.
I’ll say this much just because you have plastic surgery does not mean your beauty is guaranteed. Even then it is in the eye of the beholder. While society holds some unrealistic standards for beauty and desirability somewhere deep inside due to our ancient genetic programming man the creature is programmed to find the healthiest mates to procreate. It’s not simply vanity, but it is coupled with the biological desire to have spouse of sound fitness levels so that they might produce fit offspring. If you doubt the savagery of man you need look only at war to realize how despite civilization man has not moved completely beyond his more savage instincts.
I know the feeling, every time I walk around with flak and rifle, lots of stares and a wide berth…
Though in all probability they writer probably did not intend for the audience to ponder so deeply given that they had to redo the nose the first time around. Hanna’s new jaw also had some kinks to work out as well. Truth is if the doctor was that good he’d be making mad money. In any case Hanna’s reasons were not easily condemned because her previous existence wasn’t great and by that time she could no longer look at herself in the mirror and be happy. She wanted to transcend into another existence and in a way she became a butterfly though by means of a man made cocoon. I was a chunky fellow before I signed my ass to Uncle Sam and it is not easy to lose weight at a whim. It took a long time and two angry intimidating drill instructors to get my fat ass in shape, and now I am capable of running, jumping, and shooting to standard. Besides it was the only time in my life in recent memory that I had an abundance of free time to involuntarily work out, and it really did help that they pushed us all to our physical limits.
The scene where Hanna is enjoying her new corporeal form was understandably happy in over tone. I know I was happy when I came back home after basic an me mum no longer berated me for being fat and lazy. Now it’s just for being lazy. When she got her new dress I knew that she probably felt better than me when I needed new pants. Her new more gorgeous self did get a lot perks early on to the point of absurdity. Though it is true Hanna’s new look was something that money could not buy; only black mail could that. I found it funny how Ammy the typical idol was manufactured and yet the all natural beauty is some how still prized. Oh the delicious hypocrisy. I am glad Hanna didn’t lord it over her friend Jung-min that much about her new form factor. I was delighted when that sleazy salesman got his just deserts. In a way that doctor was right beauty is attitude, supposing that you at least look average.
Despite the mandatory big lie that comes mandatory for this kind of tale Hanna stayed largely true to herself. Given that Ammy was AWP camping at her dad’s place. The whole near love scene was masterfully done. Hanna was so afraid of being found out that it killed the mood in short order. I like how they worked in her old phone sex operator talents to skirt the whole thing. When Hanna’s lie was unraveled it was poignant how even though she was pretty now that she was still stigmatized. The final reconciliation with her dad was touching along with her admission of who she was. The songs were pretty good, though it was rather obvious that they used a fat suit as the way she carried herself was not accurate. It was a happy ending for Hanna as she could now dance with the dad in the light of day. My favorite minor character would have to be Dr. Lee though because the man has mad skills. His advice was awesome, especially how he berated Ammy as being a terrible actress and a woman who opted for less than perfect surgical methods. All in all it was good film that nearly extracted tears from this soulless monster.