The Beauty Inside

Love isn't exactly blind in The Beauty Inside, a romantic drama adapted from a "social film" produced a few years ago by Toshiba and Intel. Baek Jong-yeol's take on the high-concept material — a man wakes up in a different body every day, much to his chagrin and that of the woman who loves him in all his many forms -- is more edifying than its worrying origins suggest, if only slightly. An old man one day, Woo-jin may well be a middle-aged woman the next. Worse than the latent silliness of such a premise is how little the filmmakers ultimately do with the world of narrative possibilities it presents; in attempting to show the universality of love, The Beauty Inside succeeds in showing the opposite.

Woo-jin maintains his straight-male perspective no matter who he becomes, and nearly every iteration happens to be a twenty- or thirtysomething Korean, and every one who factors into a pivotal scene is also good-looking. (Were this a feature-length American film, every "important" version of the protagonist would most likely be a traditionally handsome white dude.) Nothing ever truly challenges either main character's conception of love in general and the person they love in particular; if anything, these unique circumstances serve only to reinforce Woo-jin's assumptions. All of which reads less as a deliberate attempt at being exclusionary and more as a reflection of how narrow the lens most of us view such matters through tends to be, even (and perhaps especially) when trying to take the long view of it all.


  • Jong-Yeol Baek


  • Shin-Hye Park
  • Hyo-ju Han
  • Beom-su Lee
  • Seo Joon Park
  • Ji-han Do
  • Dae-Myung Kim


  • Park Jung-ye


  • Syd Lim

The Beauty Inside is not showing in any theaters in the area.

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