» » A-leum-dab-da (2008)

Short summary

Eun-young is a woman cursed with great beauty. Wherever she goes, she gets unwanted admiration from men and jealousy from women. One day, one of her stalking admirer invades her place.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: ZloyGenii
    I have to put a warning sign right at the beginning: This movie is not "entertainment" or entertaining to say the least. It is a raw and complex and somewhat absurd psychological trip into human behavior. This movie will not be on many peoples top list (see the voting here on IMDb).

    But when I watched it, I knew this was something that would be repelling to/for more people than would be appealing to them, I also knew that it's idea was so out there, that I liked it for the risk it took, in showing something different. While not always easy to watch (far from it) and more likely aims to shock the viewer than anything else, to me it was thought provoking and since I knew it was a Korean movie and while watching it, one name came to my mind -> Kim-Ki Duk.

    Well the man behind some "classic" (but also very often disturbing movies), does not direct this one, but he has written the story for it. If you have seen some of his films, I guess you will know if this one is something for you or not. But the warning stays, this is a tough drama and you will most likely not ... like it! You were warned!
  • comment
    • Author: Delagamand
    With Kim Ki-Duk films (though he just wrote this one and didn't helm), you're always in for extremes. Consequently I find his work either appalling or strangely fascinating, depending on the consistency of the story, which is always a man-woman relationship out of the ordinary. In this case the context is (once more) extremely constructed: A natural beauty finds herself the target of non-ceasing unwanted male attention and estranged from envious female friends. After having been raped by a stalker, she attempts to destroy her unwanted appearance. A policeman who initially protects her is gradually just as crazed by her natural grace as her stalker. And if you wonder why such an obviously traumatized woman is not hospitalized, you get to see how a doctor also tries to have his way with the poor girl.

    This never-ending odyssey from one lustful male to the other gives the tragedy an involuntary comical twist, and scenes of startling violence interchange with moments of strange humour. That's where this film departs from the gruesomeness of Kim Ki-Duk's earlier works, perhaps due to the influence of first-time director Jeon Jae-hong. As a result, I've found it much more entertaining, and not quite as paralyzing. Films like Seom (The Isle) or Hwal (The Bow) move sordidly through beautiful images to sudden violent thuds. Areumdapta however keeps a steady pace towards a larger-than-life and somewhat farcical finish, which makes me wonder - not for the first time - if its creator wants to relate to the female victims of a male-dominated society or if he just, well, gets off on his own twisted fantasies.
  • comment
    • Author: Felhalar
    I am a Kim Ki-duk fan. This film is based on an original story and co-produced by Kim. I'm not psychic but I'm pretty sure that when Kim was shooting Shi gan (Time), a film about a woman who gets extensive plastic surgery in order to become beautiful, he thought to himself: hmmm, how about a film where a beautiful woman is so bothered by her good looks she tries to make herself ugly. Gosh I'm clever. Let's do it. But he gave it up to somebody else to write the screenplay and direct it.

    The film begins with scene after annoying scene of a woman being disrespected because she is beautiful. That's not fun to watch. Little girls want her autograph, hair stylists want to do her hair for free, and of course every man in Korea acts like a complete tool. She is raped and the scene in the police station afterward is as repugnant as one could imagine in a story like this. One cop says things to her like "I can see where the rapist is coming from, with a body like that who wouldn't want to score it." Another cop, a young patrolman, treats her with respect and tries to help her. His intentions are good so he'll keep an eye on her and be ready at a moment's notice to rescue her from whatever pops up.

    He stalks her in scene after annoying scene as she stuffs her face unattractively with junk food trying to make herself fat. She eats too much and throws up and ends up in the hospital. Then she tries to starve herself into looking gaunt. When she passes out in the park, the young patrolman runs out from behind a tree with a plate of dumplings. "This time it's going to cost you" he says. She gets up from the puddle of puke she's been working on and gives him the evil eye. "Only kidding", he says. Ha ha ha. Then she puts on makeup to look like a "bar girl." These are the steps on the ladder of despair she climbs.

    I kept waiting for some signature Kim Ki-duk extreme move to happen, like she takes a blowtorch to her face or something. Of course, the nice young patrolman turns out to be suspect in his shenanigans. He buys a coffee pot just like the one he saw in her apartment and you know what that means. The rapist starts appearing everywhere she goes (in a very ineffectual male J-Horror-Goth-Chick sort of way) and it drives her crazy. But not crazy enough to do something really Kim Ki-duky. Nah. She kills, she dies, and they continue to disrespect her. I think. I dunno, they turned out the lights.

    Sorry Kim Ki-duk fans, this is a stupid, implausibly written and acted, big zero. The girl is pretty but she couldn't bring any creditability to such an empty script.
  • comment
    • Author: Dianazius
    This film make us deeply thinking. Thinking about accepting or not accepting that being beautiful is a solid reason to be vulnerable. In fact, one-sided opposition to a society where the majority of its mankind suffers from the complexities of one-sidedness of traditionalism requires a strong soul. The key question is whether the movie wants to believe or accept us. Accepting the belief that such a world is outside the angle of view of the pretty girl of the city is very hellish and horrible. What ever before and after the incident. Of course, this is evident after the incident, but before that, the question is whether it is a pleasure to be seen with this volume. Believe which direction to look at, in what direction, can it be appealing in the face of its apparent connotations that mark us? Whether the subject matter in the cinema may have a fruitful effect is directly related to the capacity, culture, and the type of exposure to the geographic mass of that country. But as a foreigner, the viewer of this film, considering that it does not sad us, must be seen and think about how close this attitude is to us. The slightest thing that can be seen for how the film is influenced by the national dimension of both the constructive and the global dimension is the bitter laugh that we may face from our unconscious acceptance of the approval of this issue, and the adoption of this rule, which at least With certainty it can not be totally rejected. The degree of sensitivity to acceptance and rejection of the audience is a moral medal that we all humans deny and give ourselves to. The film is artistically pointing out the psychological effects of a very shaky and unpredictable (rape) attack, so that we believe that all of us collapse in the failure of such a futile structure and cease. The film, of course, contains inscrutable points, so far as we do not know exactly how love can affect this level of logic as well, one who desperately wants to die. Its extraordinary sequences include the latest sequences. We do not have mercy to each other death.
  • comment
    • Author: Dikus
    The story of this movie is very simple. A very attractive girl must face her beauty like a curse more than a gift. It seems that every man who meets her can't avoid to bother her in some way, until one of them rapes her inside her own apartment. Since then, the girl tries her best to look ugly: first eating a lot for becoming fat and, after failing in her purpose, trying the opposite. When both attempts fail, she begins to make up like a whore and she tries to seduce unknown men. She says that she wants to be alive but she starts a painful process of conscious self-destruction. A young cop tries to protect her but at the same time he falls in love with her and starts to lose his control with tragic consequences for both. That's all. The film is well directed and performed. Kim Ki-duk produces and writes the script but this is not necessarily a guarantee of quality. Let's be honest, he has good movies (like "3-iron") and not so good ones. Although in this case he is not the director, it is one of his "products". And it works the just for deserving 6 or 7 stars, not more (I give it 6). Personally I dislike forced happy ends the same as I dislike forced unhappy ones. Generally, all in "Beautiful" seems a little over the top including the final conclusion. Kim Ki-duk should begin to concentrate more in giving a genuine message and less in trying to shock us. He has an unquestionable talent but he pays too much attention on the reaction of his public. Only when he forgets this handicap he is able to offer works truly authentic and interesting. "Beautiful" has interesting aspects but it could be much better.
  • comment
    • Author: Rasmus
    horrible direction... bad acting... silly dialogs... there's not much to say about this film, except that it's a disaster from the beginning (except for the first 10 seconds, good shot there) till the end. and this coming from a great fan of kim ki duk's work, the premise is good but the film fails miserably to achieve any sensible result, it just drifts from one attempt to another without getting a good point - logical, aesthetic or anything at all. all "points" made by the film are pretty obvious, and silly, lacking any depth whatsoever. really, there's not much to say besides it is a bad effort to talk about beauty, it even has OK ideas, but they drown in the messy amateur execution (not dreamy/avant-garde/surrealistic, just bad execution).

    i mean it, don't waste your time. or if you do, don't relate it to kim ki duk.

    2 stars: one for trying to do something somewhat new, plus one for almost being able to say something meaningful about beauty
  • comment
    • Author: Humin
    Beautiful is a South Korean film that stars Cha Soo-yeon in the lead role of a beautiful woman named Eun-yeong together with Lee Chun-hee, Choi Myeong-su, Kim Min-soo and Lee Min.It was the debut feature of director Juhn Jai-hong and it was based on an original story by Kim Ki- duk.

    In the story,Eun-young is a woman who is not happy for her breathtaking beauty. She gets lonely and exhausted from the stares from men and jealousies from women. One day, she gets raped by one of her stalkers and hears the terrible words from him. "I did it just because you are so beautiful." She believes that she was raped because of her cruel beauty and starts to kill her beautiful looks. Traumatized by her attack, Eun- young tries to destroy her beauty, first by attempting to become obese, and when that fails by making herself unattractively thin. When her beauty does start to fade, she becomes alarmed and tries to regain it by wearing gaudy make up and revealing clothes, her behavior increasingly destructive and unstable. A policeman watches her downfall with pity and sympathy, but eventually he too submits to his lustful desires.At some point she says to him that she will be able to live again if she kills the rapist (now is in prison), so the policeman makes a plan for her to kill him thinking that he is the rapist. After she kills him, she doesn't get well and keeps hallucinating of seeing the rapist everywhere. In the end she is killed. However even after she is dead her beauty doesn't leave her and she is once again persecuted by it.

    Beautiful is a story of a tragedy about a woman who wasn't able to appreciate the gift of her looks.Definitely,it is not a movie for everyone as it is not for made for entertainment but rather it tackles the ugly side of vanity.It talks about how the issue of being beautiful have overtaken human behavior especially in society. Too bad that the story told is implausible and it has taken too much out of context that some viewers may find it both creepy or unintentionally funny - the scenes wherein the admiration of men to a beautiful woman is somewhat completely insane and over-the-top.

    Unfortunately,what is not funny is the misogynistic theme in it wherein women taken into account as merely tools for admiration of their beauty rather than being a human being.Too bad that it is not good to perceive men as one-dimensional in the sense that their only reason to live in this world is to win the attention of the lovely woman as the screenplay suggests and bad behavior it barely condemns such as stalking,raping,giving up one's life and having a sexual relations with a lovely but dead corpse - the last scene - which I believe was is the epitome of its misogyny.It is rather disgusting to present that having sexual relations with a dead beautiful woman remains a viable as well as enjoyable moment in life.

    The film has a promise especially with Cha Soo-yeon's brilliant acting.It is just sad that there is much to be desired in its storyline and the subject it wants to tackle intentionally which is beauty without the theme it presents in the movie unintentionally which is misogyny.
  • comment
    • Author: Reemiel
    I think it is probably one of the most disturbing films I have watched since "Teeth". I was quite emotionally involved throughout the movie. "Teeth" is probably presenting many men's nightmare and "beautiful" is probably an extreme description of "men are pigs". I think the main actress would love to have the ability that the girl in "teeth" has. I try not to give a spoiler but you will understand me when you watch both movies.

    This is a movie though that I think is better than "Teeth" in terms of acting. The main actress is indeed a pretty girl but her acting skill is great. To me, a lot of actress' break out movie is not because she can act; it is because she "dares" to act. Just to say that she sacrifice a lot to make this movie work. Just like a lot of Asian movie, they try to give you an image that you have not think about whole lot but it is in the real life and then they emphasise the image.

    There are scenes in the movie that I actually think most guys will do that when fantasising their favourite girls and most guys will not think that is a big deal. I recommend them to watch this movie and think about how your favourite girls are violated by those actions if they find out about them.

    ===Warning: Spoilers below=== I remember one dialogue from the rapist in the movie making me think about beat him to death: Rapist: I did not commit the crime, I did not rape you. I am the victim here. I am the one got raped. Your beauty raped me. You are the real criminal.

    The policeman's reply to the main actress is also sick as hell: I know he is a sick bastard but it is partly your fault. You pretty girls always go out there with make ups and trying to seduce men by wearing short shirt in the winter time. You are asking for these yourselves.

    And then he asked her to tell him very details about the rape.

    ===sorry about the translation, I tried my best to jug my memory. It is pretty much the gist, though. ==== In conclusion, it has good acting, good directing and good storyline. Recommend for adults, not only because the adultery scenes, I don't know younger audience will get the idea.
  • Cast overview:
    Su-yeon Cha Su-yeon Cha - Eun-young
    Cheon-hee Lee Cheon-hee Lee - Eun-chul
    Moo-Seong Choi Moo-Seong Choi - Detective Kim
    Min-soo Kim Min-soo Kim - Seong-min
    Min Lee Min Lee - Mi-yeon
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