‘200 Pounds Beauty’
Directed by: Yong-hwa Kim
In this warm and lighthearted South Korean romantic comedy, a tremendously overweight aspiring singer, Hanna (Ah-Jung Kim), decides to take destiny into her own hands by undergoing a dramatic surgical operation to win the heart of Sang Jun (Ju Jin Mo), a young manager at a record label. A year later, Hanna approaches Sang Jun as the stunningly beautiful (and unrecognizable) Jenny. With her extraordinary vocal talent and delicate physical features, “Jenny” instantly becomes a huge star. Throughout her transformation, however, Hanna gradually loses her former identity and neglects her old friends and family. In the end, her secret is revealed and she reconciles her old and new self in a teary union with her father in front of thousands of fans.
Unlike many other comedies that also touch on body image issues, “200 Pounds Beauty” is anything but superficial. Rather, it is a remarkable social commentary that speaks directly to the plastic surgery-obsessed South Korean society by criticizing its unjust hierarchy based on appearances. As cliché as this may all sound, “200 Pounds Beauty” distinguishes itself as an uplifting and provocative film that also keeps the audience laughing. Though the plot is somewhat predictable, the movie flows easily and its subplots are compelling and entertaining. Since its release in December 2006, “200 Pounds Beauty” remains the country’s highest grossing romantic comedy of all time.—Jessica Wang
‘The Boss of It All’
Directed by: Lars von Trier
IT company owner Ravn (Peter Gantzler) has been lying to his employees for years about a nonexistent president to shield complaints and criticism of his own inadequacies. When he decides to sell the company, he hires an out-of-work actor, Kristoffer (Jens Albinus), to play the role of his made-up boss. Kristoffer is forced to learn about the functions of the IT company as well as the consequences of “his” decisions. The situation becomes problematic when he is confronted by his ex-wife, who had been hired to broker the buy-out.
‘Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End’
Directed by: Gore Verbinski
In this much anticipated third sequel, Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) are on yet another journey to rescue Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) from Davy Jones’ Locker. The couple, along with the resurrected Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), travel to Singapore, where they meet a fierce rival, Chinese pirate Sao Feng (Chow Yun-Fat). Jack Sparrow, Hector Barbossa and several other pirate lords form an alliance after realizing that Cutler Beckett (Tom Hollander) has possession of Davy Jones’ heart. The pirates ultimately engage in a climatic battle involving Davy Jones, the Royal Navy and the East India Trading Company.