Starring: Han Hyo-joo, Lee Dong-hwi, Park Seo-joon
Director: Baek Jong-yeol
Running Time: 127 mins
The Beauty Inside is a South Korean film about a man who wakes up every day with a new body. As he falls in love with a woman, he must reveal his condition to her, so that she can love him for who he is inside.
While its premise may seem unconventional, The Beauty Inside is a truly wonderful film through and through, with a beautifully romantic atmosphere that combines with a very genuine story to make for a moving watch throughout.
First off, however, the film’s premise brings to attention the importance of a good screenplay, and good filmmaking around the lead actors. While it’s all well and good having a big A-list cast, this film proves that you can still form a strong connection with a character just from how they are written, rather than simply watching the portrayal by an actor. In similar fashion to the experimental Final Cut: Ladies And Gentlemen, the fact that our main character changes appearance (and therefore performer) on a regular basis is irrelevant to the arc that is created by the screenplay, something that I was hugely impressed by.
Of course, that’s not to say that the performances here don’t matter, and while the film’s writing and directing are vital in creating that consistent arc for our main character, the wide range of actors that portray him also do a fantastic job at retaining the essence of that character. Even though his appearance is completely different each day, the actors all make sure to keep the core of his personality at the forefront of their performances, something that proves just as effective in making the film’s unconventional but undoubtedly striking premise work so well.
Alongside all of the performers for one side of the romance, the performance from Han Hyo-joo is also absolutely wonderful, as she evokes everything that works so well about this film through her acting. At first, she’s a delightful and sweet love interest for our main character, but as the story progresses, and the unexpected effects of this bizarre situation take hold, Han also brings across a strong emotional depth in her character, turning her into the film’s focal point as she struggles between her genuine love for her partner and the strange nature of his condition.
In that, the film has a very genuine sense of heart to it all, as it touches on the idea of loving someone for who they really are inside. It sounds a bit cheesy put like that, but as the film takes the time to show that that’s not always the easiest thing to do, it’s a central theme that feels a whole lot more genuine, and contributes to the blissfully romantic atmosphere that makes The Beauty Inside such a wonderful watch.
That’s the last thing I want to touch on, because while it may seem like a bit of a sappy and melodramatic romance at first, there’s something about this film that really allows you to connect with the central relationship, almost as if you’re falling love with the movie as the characters fall in love with each other on screen.
Again, it sounds cheesy, but thanks to some wonderful directing from Baek Jong-yeol, who gives the film an incredibly elegant, dream-like atmosphere through careful pacing and brilliant cinematography, there is something special about this film that just goes that extra mile to make you really fall in love, something that I absolutely adored.
Overall, then, I loved The Beauty Inside. It’s an unorthodox watch, without a doubt, but it uses its unique premise to great effect throughout, with a fantastic screenplay, great performances, beautiful directing, and a genuine sense of heart and romance throughout that makes its story work like a dream, which is why I’m giving it an 8.1.