Jung’s new film is about peo­ple around us

The Korea Times - - PEOPLE -

In “Kim Ji-young, Born 1982,” a film adap­ta­tion of the best-sell­ing fem­i­nist novel of the same ti­tle, ac­tress Jung Yu-mi plays an or­di­nary 37-year old woman liv­ing in South Korea in 2019.

Ji-young is an or­di­nary housewife and mother of a child who has to strug­gle all day to do chores and take care of her hus­band and twoyear old daugh­ter. She quits her job af­ter giv­ing birth and does all the mun­dane daily tasks like boil­ing the child’s clothes and pre­par­ing break­fast for her hus­band ev­ery morn­ing with­out com­plaint.

She has a lot she wants to say — that she is ex­hausted, that she de­serves to take a rest with a cup of hot cof­fee al­though she is not the bread­win­ner. But no­body lis­tens to her or even lets her say it.

“It’s a kind of vi­o­lence that is un­con­sciously com­mit­ted in our daily lives,” Jung said in a me­dia in­ter­view on Wed­nes­day. “I might have ex­pe­ri­enced such vi­o­lence, or hurt some­body. But I think I didn’t re­al­ize the vi­o­lence, or just passed on by.”

Jung, who has built a rep­u­ta­tion for never miss­ing the triv­ial emo­tions and ges­tures of her char­ac­ters, spon­ta­neously and nat­u­rally por­trays the or­di­nar­i­ness and dull­ness of the char­ac­ter’s life.

She said she tried to ex­press emo­tion in a low-key and un­flat­ter­ing way, as the movie “Kim Ji-young, Born 1982” care­fully re­veals the hurt and sad­ness that we all have but can’t ex­press in our daily lives.

In the film, Ji-young re­peat­edly looks out of a win­dow to see the sun­set and feels her heart sink.

“She watches the sun­set three times in the movie, but each time, Ji-young’s feel­ing is dif­fer­ent,” said Jung in a me­dia in­ter­view on Wed­nes­day. “I should know the dif­fer­ence be­cause she’s not just look­ing at some­thing with the same flow of feel­ing in each scene.”

Ji-young is so mousy and timid that she can­not com­plain about her hard work and sac­ri­fice. Af­ter these de­flat­ing mo­ments, she speaks as if she is pos­sessed by other peo­ple, in­clud­ing her grand­mother who crit­i­cizes her grand­daugh­ter’s ex­ces­sive ser­vice to her par­ents-in-law.

“I tried to fo­cus on con­vey­ing the emo­tion and make her emo­tion per­me­ate the mood of the whole movie,” she said. “If I con­cen­trate hard, I read the (rel­e­vant) part of the novel thor­oughly the day be­fore shoot­ing. I read it as if I’m pray­ing.”

Her sin­cere and nat­u­ral act­ing helps make Ji-young plau­si­ble and seem like she is not some movie hero but a nor­mal per­son.

While work­ing on this movie, she thought of her mother, aunts, friends with ba­bies and even her younger brother — all Ji-youngs around us.

“I spent only three months act­ing as a wife and a mother. It’s too short to say I have an ex­pe­ri­ence,” she said. “But I have many friends and col­leagues, men or women, who work and do child care.”

Cour­tesy of Man­age­ment Soop

Ac­tress Jung Yu-mi is seen in this photo pro­vided by her agency.

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