Book vs. Movie: Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982

I read (and loved) Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 by Cho Nam-Joo earlier this month, then I found out that there was a movie adaptation, so of course I had to watch it!

The movie of the same name came out in 2019 in South Korea and starring Gong Yoo and Jung Yu-mi.

I was really curious how the book would be adapted because it was really just one woman’s life story. The movie took a more story driven approach, having the majority be about adult Jiyoung’s life, with occasional flashbacks to her childhood. I think this worked in some instances, but not all of them. The timeline seemed a little clear and chaotic at points.

Another big change was that Jiyoung goes to see a male psychiatrist in the book, which I thought was quite important to the message, but in the movie featured a female psychiatrist. I think that this caused the message of the movie to be much more hopeful overall than the book.

One thing that I did really like about the movie was that it was much more emotional than the book. The book is told in a kind of straightforward, serious tone, so the raw emotions are not there. The movie however, had some super emotional scenes that I really loved.

I think overall the movie did a fairly good job at conveying the points from the book. Many of the scenes from the book are in the movie. I do think the tone changed a little bit in translation, and also the impact of the ending changed. The format of the book made it hard to convey in a movie, so there is no real climax to the movie. For these reasons, I did like the book better, but I also enjoyed the movie!

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