MOVIE REVIEW: Portrait of a Beauty [Korean]

Title: Portrait of a Beauty
Directed by Jeon Yoon-soo
Screenplay by Han Soon-ryeon

Alternative title : “Beauty Island”

Synopsis borrowed from HanCinema: Born to a family of established court painters, seven-year-old Yun-jeong is a young girl gifted at painting. However, the pressure is on her brother to carry on the proud family tradition, as women aren’t allowed to become professional painters. While her brother trains to take his place in the court, Yun-jeong helps him out by secretly painting for him. The little girl’s life is turned upside down when her brother kills himself. In order to preserve the family honor, she is forced to take her brother’s name and lives as a man. Yun-bok’s genius and talent captures the heart of another great master of the time, Kim Hong-do. But her daring depictions of women are condemned by the royal institute as obscene. Yun-bok meets Kang-mu and falls deeply in love. For the first time, she feels the strong desire to abandon everything she has built and simply be a woman in front of the man she loves. Kang-mu sacrifices all for his love as well. Kim Hong-do, who loved the genius of his best student, ends up loving everything about her, and Seol-hwa, a Gisaeng at the courtesan house, possesses a love for Hong-do that turns into fatal jealousy. The secret behind Shin Yun-bok’s masterpiece, Portrait of a Beauty, is finally revealed after 250 years of silence.

Okay, so this was a movie that I really wanted to see and was very excited about. You would not believe how long I waited to be able to see it and how happy I was to get a hold of a copy.

I put it on and started the movie… then afterward wished I could go back in time and just not bother. It wasn’t a good movie and it wasn’t a super bad movie… it was just blah.

Lots of sex and disturbing emotional violence with very little chracterization. I mean, they were going around doing stuff, but I had no emotional investment in any of the main chracters. By the tragic end I was like “Eh, whatever.”

This movie is something you might rent, but not buy. Just not worth taking the time out of your life.

BTW, the synopsis is pretty different from the movie. You go in expecting one thing, and you get something different. I probably would have liked the movie if it had stuck to the synopsis or even if the characters had been a bit more fleshed out. It just seems as though the creators of the movie took a bunch of scenes and glued them together and tried to pass them off as a movie.


I liked this fanmade YouTube video better than the actual movie.


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