“Love conquers all,” they say. All hopeless romantics, myself included, will surely agree with it. This is most likely the reason why romance movies are almost always a box-office hit. And for this edition of K-Movie Corner, we’ll bring you the unconventional romantic-comedy film that is The Beauty Inside.
This 2015 movie based on the 2012 American social film of the same title tells the story of Kim Woo-jin, a furniture maker in the shadow, who wakes up in a different body every day. Yes, he sometimes transforms into an old man, a child, a woman, or a foreigner—there’s no limitation to it.
Fun fact: Did you know that a total of 123 actors (source: www.nytimes.com) portrayed Woo-jin in the whole duration of the film? And some of the Hallyu stars that cameoed in the movie include Park Shin-hye, Park Seo-joon, Lee Dong-wook, Seo Kang-joon, and Lee Jin-wook, among others! A bonus reason to watch it, right?
Woo-jin falls in love with Hong Yi-soo played by Han Hyo-joo, a salesperson at the furniture shop that sells his works, who luckily reciprocates his feelings despite his unbelievable condition. Now, the question is, will their love last given all the complications of their unrealistic relationship?
Despite the movie’s fictional storyline, it still managed to keep a relatable and realistic feel. The convincing acting of the cast, particularly Han Hyo-joo, made the audience hold on to Woo-jin and Yi-soo’s complicated love affair until the very end. In addition, the flawless storytelling successfully highlighted the bliss and pain of each and every scene, leaving the viewers with a bittersweet movie experience.
Fun fact: The film’s premise is similar to the plot of David Levithan’s book titled Every Day.
The Beauty Inside challenges the audience with thought-provoking questions. Does physical appearance define you as a person? Does it affect the way people interact with you? Does it play a huge factor in love? And so on. Aside from that, this movie also teaches us, or should I say, gives us a refresher on the basic lessons about love just like the following:
1. Love sacrifices
Love is a powerful emotion. It makes us do things we didn’t imagine we could do for the sake of the person we care and adore. Woo-jin proved it to us. To be able to see the woman he loves, he avoided sleep as it will transform him into a different person physically.
He succeeded for a couple of days, but no matter how much his mind wanted to stay awake forever, his body has limitations. He fell asleep while on the train and changed from being an oppa to an ahjusshi upon waking up.
This forced him to skip his breakfast date with Yi-soo the next day.
“It’s over with this, isn’t it?” Woo-jin asked himself as he rejected a call from Yi-soo who was left wondering why Woo-jin suddenly disappeared on the face of the Earth.
2. Love knows no boundaries
Loving also means accepting the person for whatever and whoever he is with your eyes closed and arms wide open. Something that’s easier said than done, but Yi-soo proved to us that nothing is impossible to embrace in the name of love. Of course, she also had a hard time understanding Woo-jin’s condition at first.
It was like a bomb dropped in front of her when Woo-jin revealed that he wakes up with a different face every day. But after some very deep thinking, she was able to accept it all.
“Woo-jin?” Yi-soo asked the unfamiliar guy the next morning after she slept with a Japanese woman who claimed to be Woo-jin. The unfamiliar guy shyly looked at her in the eyes, and they both smiled.
3. Love gives hope
Love is like a ray of sunshine in a world full of black and white. It’s something that makes us want to hold on and live despite all the struggles we face. “Each day, I wish for these days to last forever. There won’t be anymore myself only in photos,” Woo-jin told himself when everything between him and Yi-soo were so much okay. He felt that he’s not alone anymore with the presence of Yi-soo in his life, the woman who loved him despite his odd condition.
4. Love hurts
Loving comes with the possibility of being hurt. That’s why they say love is only for the brave. Just when we thought everything’s well and good between Woo-jin and Yi-soo, they experienced the biggest setback in their relationship.
Woo-jin finally proposed marriage to Yi-soo, but she asked him, “How can we introduce ourselves to our families?” A simple question that knocked Woo-jin down and brought him back to reality. Woo-jin also discovered that Yi-soo had been taking antipsychotic drugs for quite some time, making him realize that while she made him whole, she destroyed herself. This pushed Woo-jin to break up with Yi-soo and disappear from her life.
5. Love is worth fighting for
Love hurts, yes. But, it’s definitely worth fighting for! If it makes you happy, then there’s no reason for you to let it go. “At that time, what was it that I’m afraid of? Other people’s gaze towards us? Or the mess and pain that I have to go through when I’m with you? All of it isn’t even comparable to the pain you’re feeling,” Yi-soo told herself as realizations flooded her being. She flew all the way to Czech Republic to follow Woo-jin. A very brave move that’s rewarded with a second chance at love.
With the obsession on physical beauty that our society is facing today, I must say that The Beauty Inside is a timely movie to watch. It serves as a reminder to everyone that no matter how cliche it may sound, beauty on the inside will always be way better than what’s on the outside. My verdict for this movie? Four solid hearteus! Highly recommended!
~ All credit for the stills/GIFs/videos used in this review goes to Next Entertainment World and Well Go USA.