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[HanCinema's News] "KIM Jiyoung: Born 1982" Latest Adaptation of Best Selling Novel


"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

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