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An Honest Review Of 'Kim Ji-Young: Born 1982'

It's a feminist film that everyone—not just women—needs to see.
PHOTO: Kim Ji-young, Born 1982/EON Talk

The Long Plot, Sans Spoilers

Jung Yu Mi plays Kim Ji-Young, a regular mom who left her career to focus on raising her child. Gong Yoo plays Jung Dae Hyun, Ji-Young's caring husband. Conflicts arise in and out of the household when Ji-Young gets afflicted with a psychiatric condition, where she "turns" into another person (those close to her, like her mom and sister). Throughout the movie, the struggles of women in a patriarchal society are also shown, such as workplace issues, sexual harassment, and family expectations.  

The Short, Honest Plot

A peek into the life of a stay-at-home mom who was a former career woman. She was ordinary...except that she has a loving hubby (that looks like a god and whose only flaw, really, is his bossy AF mother) and a psychiatric condition.

The Actors And Where You Last Saw Them

Jung Yu Mi as Kim Ji-Young

Prior to this film, Yu Mi starred in the movie Psychokinesis (2018) with Ryu Seung Ryong and in the series Live (2018) with Lee Kwang Soo.

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Gong Yoo as Jung Dae Hyun

Gong Yoo's most recent acting projects before this film were Train To Busan, The Age Of Shadows, and Goblin (all in 2016).

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Did You Know?

1. This is Yu Mi and Gong Yoo's third movie together! The previous ones were Train To Busan and Silenced (2011).

2. The pair also belong to the same entertainment agency called Soop, which manages other big K-drama stars like Bae Suzy, Choi Woo Sik (who was also in Train To Busan), and rom-com queen Gong Hyo Jin.

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3. Suzy promoted the movie of her sunbae labelmates on her IG, but this didn't sit well with people who negatively viewed the movie's feminist theme.

4. Kim Ji-Young: Born 1982 was actually based on a book of the same name. The novel,  written by Cho Nam-Joo, sold over a million copies in Korea but also received criticisms because of the sensitive issues it touched upon.

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5. Seo Ji Hye (who played Seo Dan in Crash Landing On You) and Red Velvet's Irene both revealed having read the novel...and both drew flak for it.

What My Friends Think:

"I watched Kim Ji-Young primarily because I'm a huge Gong Yoo fan. I am so grateful I came out with more than my share of Gong Yoo goodness. It's a story about the everyday woman, often trapped with society's long-established rules and expectations. Every woman would find a piece of herself in Kim Ji-Young. I liked that the film showed pieces of her life randomly, and how it narrated how her current actions are effects of previous life experiences, and how society—from her family, work, and even her husband—had a hand in making Kim Ji-Young 'broken.' The movie doesn't want to present a clear-cut solution to an ingrained cultural and societal problem, but wants to raise awareness so that women will find her support system. And in the movie, Kim Ji-Young gets that. She actively seeks it. And I wish that every woman does the same.

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"The film left me with much appreciation for my mom, to fellow women who choose to live outside of herself every day—choosing her kids, peace, and family. Most of all, I gained a much deeper sense of respect for myself—how strong, worthy, and enough I am." —Agatha

"The movie tackled a lot of issues most women have to face on a daily basis, which should not be the norm. Cameras in bathroom stalls, condescending male peers, having to sacrifice career for the family or vice versa, being expected to serve in the kitchen, being judged [when you're still single in your 30s]—these are just some of the issues shown in the movie. Most women just learn to adjust, to give in, to sacrifice, and maybe it's high time that society recognizes that men can and should adjust, too.

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"And in the end, sometimes, all we need is for someone to listen. We don't need someone else to solve our problems for us all the time. A little support, a listening ear, and a lot of love can go a long way. Kudos to the author for writing such a novel despite being in a mostly patriarchal society, and for the producers for making it into a movie. This enabled a lot more people to read/watch it around the world." —Costa

What I Think:

Pinays would appreciate this movie because it's very honest and relatable. The setting is Korea, but a lot of issues are encountered by Pinays (especially Pinay moms), too. You're probably familiar with the career-versus-family debates, the meddling in-laws, the judge-y people when someone brings their noisy toddler to a cafe. It'll be a great chance for you to reflect and just know that you're not alone in your struggles.  

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Another great thing about it is how the husband chose to deal with his wife's condition. He didn't impose anything on her or pushed her to seek treatment. He patiently cared for her, helped her whenever he could, and waited for her to help herself. I believe it's the best approach whenever you're dealing with a partner struggling with a mental health issue.

I didn't expect to like the movie because it lacked kilig and heart-stopping plot twists (aka prerequisites for my favorite dramas these days). But in the end, Kim Ji-Young made me feel empowered. It's a woke portrayal of an average woman and it acknowledged her struggles and strengths—qualities that make her extraordinary and admirable.

 

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I'd Recommend It To:

Everyone, really, for ~*awareness*~ but most especially for married couples or those who are thinking about getting married

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