Read our movie review here.
Kim Ji–young, Born 1982 – If you’ve found this name very familiar, it’s because this Korean film, based on the best-selling feminist novel of the same name made waves in the news a couple of times the past year. Yes, it’s the same controversial novel that Red Velvet’s Irene talked about at a fansign event, and this same novel was also previously mentioned by BTS’ RM, Girls’ Generation’s Sooyoung and more recently, Suzy.
The reason why this movie is so controversial in Korea is because of its feminist nature, which has been a sensitive issue, especially ever since the gained momentum of the #MeToo movement in 2018. A good number of Korean men took offense just because it is feminist, petitioned against the release of the movie and left negative reviews without even watching the movie. In the still very conservative Korean society and to most Korean men, they see feminism as gender inequality and they disagree that Korean women are disadvantaged in today’s society (which is the main gist of the novel/film). Naturally, every female celebrity who brought up the movie drew ire from their male fans as they hated the idea of their idols embracing feminism; while ironically male figures who endorsed the exact same thing did not receive much backlash. So what exactly is Kim Ji–young, Born 1982 about?
Kim Ji-young (Jung Yumi) is an ordinary Korean woman in her 30s who is often distressed by her everyday life as a full-time mom and housewife. Although being married to the man she loves and the struggle of raising a baby girl have forced her to give up on many things, Ji-young believes she is content in life.
However, her husband, Dae-hyeon (Gong Yoo), notices that life is hitting Ji-young harder than she realizes. Worried, Dae-hyeon turns to a psychiatrist saying, “My wife is turning into someone else,” as Ji-young begins to speak strikingly similar to her mother, her best friend who died while giving birth, and her late grandmother.
Also, why the name Kim Ji-young? Kim Ji-young is a very common name for Korean women of this generation, so her name represents any Korean woman.
This might be quite different from your typical action-packed or rom-com movie, but the reason why this novel and movie are both such a hit in Korea is because the storyline, although based on a fictional character, is highly relatable from the perspective of Korean females (and even males as well).
“I personally couldn’t relate to the book too well, but I know a lot of women did. It’s sad that so many women related to Kim Ji Young in the novel. No one should have to relate to the book.”Comedian Noh Hong Chul
This film, starring Gong Yoo and Jung Yumi as the lead characters, also marks their third film together, with their last movie project together being the blockbuster film Train To Busan. This will however mark their first time being portrayed as a married couple.
Jung Yumi transforms into ‘Kim Ji-young’, a daughter, mother, wife, and colleague to someone. Though she is brave, she sometimes gets hurt. She smiles brightly but suffers heartaches inside. She takes on an ordinary character who struggles through her everyday life. When Ji-young discovers a side of her that she doesn’t even know, Jung Yumi pours out her heart and leads the drama with delicate, dedicated acting that focuses only on her character.
Making his return to the big screen, Gong Yoo portrays ‘Dae-hyeon’, Ji-young’s husband who worries about her and watches her. He maximizes immersion into the drama with a detailed portrayal of a husband who is deeply considerate of his wife and portrays a very ordinary character unlike his previous roles.
Kim Ji-young, Born 1982 screens in Singapore cinemas from 14 November 2019.
Read our movie review here.
Watch the movie trailer below: