"KIM Jiyoung: Born 1982" opens on October 23rd and will be the first South Korean film in some time to be based off of a best-selling novel. Surprisingly few South Korean films are based off of novels, as popular novels in the country have not always had a storytelling style that can be easily translated to screen.
"Punch", for example, was originally a story aimed at young adults, dealing with a multiracial teenager who has limited studying capabilities, but some raw talent when it comes to boxing. The generally episodic story doesn't lend itself well to a clear ending, but "Punch" nonetheless managed to earn over five million admissions at the box office - a surprisingly strong performance.
"The Handmaiden", with over four million admissions, was also a popular acclaimed film internationally. The original story was based on an English girls' love novel. Famed director Park Chan-wook substantially reworked the story both to make it work as a film as well as to adapt it to a Korean colonial setting. Now, it's debatable whether even in the English language world "The Handmaiden" or 'Fingersmith' is more well known.
"Memoir of a Murderer" is the weakest performer of the bunch, although it also had the weakest critical reception. The story deals with an Alzheimer's patient who believes himself to be a retired serial killer. The crime thriller from a Korean author managed to make the most of its setting, which focused on life in rural South Korea.
Now, with "KIM Jiyoung: Born 1982", fantasy and realism elements are expected to merge in the story of a woman in her thirties who faces normal problems, yet also appears to be possessed by familial spirits. Here, the potential for a strong film is obvious, but will rest largely on how good Jung Yu-mi is in the lead role.
Written by William Schwartz
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's News] "KIM Jiyoung: Born 1982" Latest Adaptation of Best Selling Novel"
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