Friday, August 25, 2023

Mask Girl

A most unusual story.  Seven episodes each focused from a singular perspective.  You will see some of the same events repeated, but from a different point of view.  Not wanting to give away too much of the plot a few things could be pointed out.  Three actresses are used for one adult role not due to aging--in fact a fourth is used for a younger version of the same role.

A common theme is bullying.  At first we are introduced to Kim Mo-mi as a young girl.  As she grows older her looks turn very plain (ugly to many).  The first episode is concerned with the young child who receives a lot applause as a dancer, but next we see her as an adult office worker who had learned her appearance with a large nose and high cheek bones is a turnoff.  But she still craves applause and decides to wear a mask and perform song and dance routines that do generate positive responses on the inter-net.

The second episode is told directly from one of her admirers who is able to uncover her disguise and realize she actually works at the same office.  However he is still extremely shy and has endured bullying as a youngster and being mostly ignored as an adult.  Of course you know circumstances lead to inter action.  

The third episode is told from the viewpoint of the obsessed fan's mother.  You can easily imagine an interfering mother, but it is more complicated.  Once she decides on a course of action she is like a bulldog, but she is very resourceful about it.  By this time if you are not hooked I would like to assure you there are lots of surprises and conflicting role perspectives. 

The actions from the first three episodes drive the plot, but it probably is too difficult for most of us to guess what happens next.

Apparently in a very short time it has gained a lot of popularity.  There are a lot of very capable people responsible who deserve some credit.

The director is Kim Yong-hoon with only his second film as director.  He is credited as a content developer for "The Thieves" (2012).  

The writer is Mae Mi who wrote the original webtoon.

The music was by Jang Young-Kyo.  He has composed for "The Good the Bad the Weird" (2008), "The Thieves" (2012), "Assassination" (2015), "Train to Busan" (2016) and "The Wailing" (2016).

Three actresses were used for the adult main character, Kim Mo Mi.  The first was Lee Han Byul in her first feature film.  

The second was Nana who did the dancing as the Mask Girl.  She is best known as a member of the girl band, After School and others.  She has 40 film credits.  She provided a brief nude scene.

The third actress was Go Hyun-Jung and she carries the role over the most episodes.  She had been runner up to Miss Korea in 1989.  She has 20 film credits.

Ahn Jae-hong played the obsessed fan.  He has a theatrical background and even as he established himself in films he returned to the stage when time permitted.  He has 30 film credits.

Yeom Hye-ran played the mother of the obsessed fan.  She also has a theatrical background.  Her film credits include "Memories of Murder" (2003), "Live Up to Your Name" (2017), "Lawless Lawyer" (2018), "Chocolate" (2019) and "The Glory" (2022).  Check

At first it is confusing, but after awhile you will appreciate it is well put together.  

I have started to notice that with dubbed films IMDB lists the dubbers ahead of the original actors and I have sought other sources to give proper credit.  Wikipedia is excellent.  I suspect that IMDB with a history of listing the voices for Japanese animated features just carried that practice on with regular films.  Dubbing has opened up foreign films for many film watchers and has its own required skills.  In the future I intend to note dubbers when appropriate, but still feel that the actual actors deserve more attention.

Currently available in both dubbed and subtitled versions on Netflix.

I have bolded the first mention of films I have seen.

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