(2023) Mask Girl Review & 6 highlights Explained

假面女郎影評mask girl

Mask Girl : Plot Summary and Cast

“Mask Girl” (Korean: 마스크걸, English: Mask Girl) is an original Korean drama series released on Netflix on August 18, 2023. It is adapted from the webcomic of the same name created by Korean comic artists Memi and HeeSe. The story follows Kim Mo-Mi, a working professional who feels insecure about her appearance. Every night, she wears a mask and becomes a BJ (Broadcast Jockey) for online live streaming. Through this process, she gets involved in unexpected events that unfold into a captivating story.

Overall, “Mask Girl” is a well-edited Korean drama with good storytelling techniques and pacing. Personally, I highly recommend it to everyone~ The casting choices for the main actors in “Mask Girl” are also quite impressive. Especially when it comes to the three actresses portraying the character of Kim Mo-Mi, their performances and interpretation of the role are seamless and harmonious~👍👍👍

“Lea Han Byeol,” who played the early version of Kim Mo-Mi, is still a newcomer in the acting industry. “Mask Girl” is also her debut work. I think the production team did a great job in making her look very similar to the Kim Mo-Mi character from the comic. In the middle stage, NaNa portrayed Kim Mo-Mi, who has been deeply scarred by this world.

Her performance was quite memorable and poignant. In the later stage, Kim Mo-Mi was played by Ko Hyun-Jung. The aura she displayed perfectly matched someone who had been tamed by prison life. Especially in later scenes where she goes to find her daughter, one can feel both tenderness and strength of a mother through just one expression, effectively conveying Kim Mo-Mi’s burden of guilt.

In “Mask Girl,” Yum Hye-Ran’s role as Ju Oh-Nam’s mother truly stands out! Her character in “Mask Girl” is an extremely ruthless one who would do anything for her son. Her determination rivals that of Kim Mo-Mi and undoubtedly makes her a key figure that adds excitement and intensity to “Mask Girl.” Overall, “Mask Girl” has a good storyline with a well-paced narrative – highly recommended Korean drama for everyone!

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(2023 )Mask Girl Movie Review & 6 highlights Explained

假面女郎影評mask girl

Mask Girl Review:I hate it when people judge others based on their appearance, but I also find myself doing the same thing.

“The main story of the drama “Mask Girl” revolves around Kim Mo-Mi, who suffers from low self-esteem due to her appearance and envies (or perhaps feels jealous of) girls with beautiful faces. Throughout the plot of “Mask Girl,” there are many scenes that depict Kim Mo-Mi’s envy and jealousy towards universally recognized beauties.

The writer not only portrays the beloved A-Reum, who is beautiful and adored by Team Leader Park, but also delves into Kim Mo-Mi’s own state of mind. Personally, I appreciate how realistic and interesting the screenwriter has made the character of Kim Mo-Mi. Despite facing significant discrimination based on her appearance, she often speaks ill of A-Reum behind her back in the workplace.

The screenwriter transforms Kim Mo-Mi’s jealousy into a realistic aspect; it is human nature to be instinctively drawn to attractive appearances. Even though Kim Mo-Mi herself is a victim of appearance-based discrimination, she still succumbs to this world’s brainwashing and becomes someone who criticizes others.

Unbeknownst to herself, Kim Mo-Mi gradually becomes the person who ruins A-Reum and Team Leader Park, as well as an antagonist in this wicked world. She unknowingly harbors resentment towards society -the perfect portrayal by the screenwriter- showcasing her feelings of discontentment, anger, and strong selfishness within her heart.

This resonates with what was mentioned about “seeds of resentment” in the ending of “Mask Girl.” The screenwriter describes how people create numerous seeds of resentment among themselves; however, these seeds grow stronger and ferment over time leading to more animosity, hatred,and negative energy between individuals.

Therefore,the screenwriter cleverly allows Kim Mo-Mito criticizeand destroy A-Reumand Team Leader Park.This illustrates that even thoughKimMoMiis avictimofappearance-baseddiscriminationinthisworld,sheherselfbecomes the one who harms others.”

Mask Girl Review:Kim Mo-Mi is afraid of her appearance being exposed?

In episode 2 of “Mask Girl,” the main storyline revolves around Kim Mo-Mi’s true identity being discovered by Ju Oh-Nam. The writer uses this approach to explore Kim Mo-Mi’s inner fears. In fact, I believe that Kim Mo-Mi’s fear stems not from her false identity being exposed, but rather from the fear of her appearance being revealed. After all, Mask Girl is the only way she can freely enjoy applause, and her own appearance becomes a key factor that could destroy her dreams.

I think it is a clever technique for the writer of “Mask Girl” to use various characters to contrast and enhance Kim Mo-Mi’s state of mind in such a tragic manner. Kim Mo-Mi desperately wants to protect her appearance from being discovered because she wants to “guard” it. Just like Ju Oh-Nam in the second episode, his world is also incredibly miserable due to his appearance. I feel that by using Ju Oh-Nam’s situation and experiences, the writer echoes Kim Mo-Mi’s sense of “inferiority” about not wanting others to discover her true self.

Because one’s looks equate with exclusion and bullying, I believe that Kim Mo-Mi also fears becoming that kind of person again in her virtual life if she were found out – having people notice her face would mean losing opportunities based on physical attractiveness alone~ Initially, I thought maybe the writer would have Kim Mo-Mi accept Ju Oh-Nam’s genuine attempt at saving her and reciprocate his feelings.

However, I was quite surprised when instead the writer chose for Kim Mo-Mi to eliminate Ju Oh-Nam. This design portrays how even if she encounters someone who genuinely cares for her but knows about her physical secret, it is unacceptable for him or anyone else to know about it.

By killing off Ju Oh-Nam, I think this demonstrates Kim Mo-Mi’s determination for a complete transformation. She does not want anyone in this world to know about her past existence. The writer of “Mask Girl” strengthens Kim Mo-Mi’s willingness to do whatever it takes for a new life and portrays the desperation she feels from the world pushing her to the edge.

In the end, when Kim Mo-Mi says, “Kim Mo-Mi is dead, I am the real Mask Girl,” this statement symbolizes her rejection of her former appearance and her preference for living with a genuine plastic mask rather than enduring a life in this thorny world.

Mask Girl Review:People in this world say I’m ugly, which makes me feel truly ugly.

In the episode 2 of “Mask Girl,” when that netizen recognized Kim Mo-Mi, it showcased her insecurities stemming from external factors. Fans used Kim Mo-Mi’s appearance to entertain themselves, and in the first episode of “Mask Girl,” Kim Mo-Mi felt sexually harassed on a train but wasn’t believed due to her looks.

The writer skillfully portrayed society’s unfriendliness towards appearances through these subtle everyday scenes in the drama. Having beauty is highly valued (for example, Ya doesn’t have any exceptional skills, but as long as she has a pretty face, the world revolves around her).

However, for those without attractive features, this world can be harsh (for instance, in the fifth episode of “Mask Girl,” when Kim Mo-Mi introduced herself in class and became a laughingstock; such behavior shows how people’s reactions to attractiveness can directly hurt others).

The writer of “Mask Girl” also depicts this aspect of society through different characters like Ju Oh-Nam. I find his story quite sympathetic and lonely. Ju Oh-Nam not only lacks presence due to his appearance but is also frequently bullied. Besides experiencing his own loneliness, he carries wounds that he doesn’t know how to heal (especially with his mother being a source of pressure).

Throughout his growth process and career path, Ju Oh-Nam has always been an outsider and gradually brainwashed into believing he is ugly and lacking confidence. Until Kim Mo-Mi appears in his life like finding a glimmer of hope (or someone similar who understands him), Ju Oh-Nam’s personality formation is influenced by societal values shaping him this way (another determining factor comes from Ju Oh-Nam’s mother Kim Kyung-Ja not understanding her son’s world).

Particularly during Kim Mo-Mi’s trial in the fifth episode of “Mask Girl,” hearing statements like “Can you kill someone just because they’re ugly?” from the deceased’s family would be particularly ironic and mocking to Kim Mo-Mi. The person saying this seems to shift all responsibility onto Kim Mo-Mi, distorting her actions, and completely absolving the deceased of any blame.

This world has a double standard based on reality, where discrimination and bullying against those who are deemed unattractive are seen as insignificant. It’s as if the outside world never bothers to understand the inner pain of people like Kim Mo-Mi, Ju Oh-Nam, and Kim Chun-Ae who constantly feel that their appearance is always a “mistake.” Furthermore, society fails to reflect on Choi Bok-Yong’s despicable behavior exploiting Kim Chun-Ae.

Mask Girl Review:Family flaws and wrong beliefs can lead to self-loathing?

When Kim Chun-Ae talked about being pregnant and wanting to have a child, she mentioned, “Will my child be ugly? I must tell my child that they are beautiful.” In these simple lines, the screenwriter of “Mask Girl” perfectly portrays Kim Chun-Ae’s realization of the evil and cruelty in this world.

She has come to understand that this world has zero tolerance for anything considered “ugly”. Therefore, Kim Chun-Ae realizes that she must instill in her child the belief that they are beautiful. This expression of support can empower someone to live with more confidence and prevent their child from living a life without self-assurance and suffering.

In “Mask Girl,” the screenwriter also uses several parent-child relationships to depict how family flaws can impose feelings of inferiority on children. In episode three of “Mask Girl,” the story focuses on the strained relationship between Kim Kyung-Ja and Ju Oh-Nam. Let’s talk about Kim Kyung-Ja first.

The storyline reveals that due to poverty, she considers love a luxury item and believes that good looks are useless; earning money is what matters most. It is not wrong for Kim Kyung-Ja to hold such values (as it reflects realistic human nature), as people who lack beauty do not necessarily desire attractive partners but rather seek financial stability for a better life.

However, she never expected her unattractive husband would cheat on her with other women – proving that being physically unappealing does not guarantee protection from emotional pain.

The portrayal of Ju Oh-Nam by the screenwriter in “Mask Girl” is very detailed. The screenwriter emphasizes the influence of family values and pressure on children. Here, I have roughly summarized the tragic reason why Ju Oh-Nam becomes so obsessed with Kim Mo-Mi: it can be attributed to his “family background”.

🖤Firstly, Kim Kyung-Ja has been pushing Ju Oh-Nam to study hard, hoping that he will become a doctor and earn a lot of money. On the surface, this seems like a mother’s love and cultivation for her child. However, in reality, money is the only factor that Kim Kyung-Ja considers in her marriage.

She wants to rely on Ju Oh-Nam’s success to gain social status (even when facing Ju Oh-Nam’s death, she continues to say that he didn’t become a doctor because he was afraid of blood). So for Ju Oh-Nam, there is immense “pressure” from Kim Kyung-Ja constantly urging him to find a partner and get married. This emotional manipulation and expectation from his mother creates an overwhelming source of pressure for him.

🖤Secondly, Kim Kyung-Ja fails to realize that since childhood, Ju Oh-Nam has suffered from low self-esteem due to his appearance. Therefore, when she expresses various expectations for his future prospects without understanding his loneliness in interpersonal relationships, unintentionally making him feel like a failure who cannot accomplish anything.

It’s as if Kim Kyung-Ja simplifies things but fails to truly understand the key reason behind all obstacles faced by Ju-Oh Nam: “his appearance”, which hinders everything he desires.

🖤Kim Kyung-Ja cannot provide Ju Oh-Nam with a normal family, which has led to a distorted understanding of sex and the opposite sex. He is obsessed with Kim Mo-Mi’s love and is willing to commit crimes for her sake. Because Kim Mo-Mi is like a safe haven for Ju Oh-Nam, he sees her as someone he has finally found and believes that the only way he can contribute to and impress Kim Mo-Mi is through this method.

Therefore, he would rather protect Kim Mo-Mi on the moral line than hesitate to commit sins himself. In Episode 3 of “Mask Girl,” the writer uses Kim Kyung-Ja’s perspective as a mother to depict her lack of understanding towards her son. Through Kim Kyung-Ja, we can see the impact and confusion in a mother’s heart. Even though she eventually seeks revenge against Kim Mo-Mi, she still fails to realize how cruel the world her son faces truly is.

This echoes what Kim Chun-Ae said about wanting to tell her child that they are beautiful. Although these words may seem insignificant, education plays an important role in combating this harsh world. It becomes crucial for children who don’t know how to face or digest it; otherwise, tragedies occur (this also explains why when attacked by this world, Kim Mi-Mo becomes explosive due to one sentence from Kim Kyung-Ja; however, because of Kim Kyung-Ja’s kindness towards her, she can become an understanding child).

The writer portrays through the character of Kim Mi-Mo how influential adults’ words and thoughts are for children in shaping their perception of the world.If at that time Grandma didn’t look down upon or reject Kim Mo-Mi so much, perhaps it wouldn’t have caused such low self-esteem in her.

Or maybe if Grandma hadn’t shown such rejection towards granddaughter KiMiMo or disliked her existence altogether,Kim Mi-Mo wouldn’t have lacked confidence in this world to such an extent, even denying her own existence.

Mask Girl Review:Which is more tragic, a beautiful or an ugly life?

“The realism of ‘Mask Girl’ lies in the fact that the screenwriter did not portray Kim Mo-Mi’s life as better just because she obtained a beautiful face. This is a realistic portrayal because past events always catch up with us, even if we change our lives through plastic surgery. The screenwriter gradually contrasts the choices of ‘living with an ugly face’ versus ‘making a big mistake to transform oneself’.

If given another chance at life, would Kim Mo-Mi make the same choice? Does she regret her current situation? I really like how the screenwriter of ‘Mask Girl’ provides closure and outcomes for several characters, and I especially appreciate how they meticulously depict their journey towards making these choices.

Kim Chun-Ae once said, ‘We are truly like twins; we both desired beauty, have experienced past traumas, and longed for rebirth. Our paths in life are so similar; protecting her feels like protecting myself.’ The screenwriter of ‘Mask Girl’ gradually shows us how cruelly the outside world harms Kim Chun-Ae, Kim Mo-Mi, and Ju Oh-Nam. They are forced to make such choices and face their consequences due to being deeply scarred by this world’s cruelty.

The emotional connection between Kim Chun-Ae and Kim Mo-Mi feels dark yet warm, especially when they join forces to pull on that rope that suffocates Choi Bok-Yong; it is not a horrifying or brutal scene but rather one filled with profound sadness. Many of the paths taken by both Kim Chun-Ae and Kim Mo-Mi were instantaneously shattered choices driven by desperation caused by this world’s relentless pursuit after them (such as Choi Bok-Yong holding grudges against Kim Chun-Ae).

So instead of living a lifetime with an unlikable face, I think having a beautiful appearance allows them to live somewhat decent lives—although there are still too many people in this world who refuse to let them go. However, in the sixth episode of ‘Mask Girl’, the screenwriter presents a different perspective, seemingly telling us that Kim Mo-Mi realizes both beauty and ugliness come with their own troubles in this world.

Despite her life in prison, Kim Mo-Mi remains rebellious against Ahn Yoon-Sook’s rules; it should be said that she has had enough of this world’s inexplicable hidden rules, discrimination, and bullying. In the face of injustice from this world, she has always resisted with a tough attitude until encountering religion and experiencing an inner transformation. She then realizes that what life pursues is inner peace. Ultimately, the screenwriter of ‘Mask Girl’ attaches a sense of ‘sin’ to Kim Mo-Mi’s actions and lets viewers know that although her behavior may be understandable, it is ultimately wrong.

Such original sin will follow her for a lifetime and cannot be easily dismissed; this kind of life is not what Kim Mo-Mi desires—especially when even innocent children are affected by it. Therefore, I believe that in the final episode of ‘Mask Girl’, when Kim Mo-Mi goes to save Kim Mi-Mo, it is not only driven by maternal love but also because she does not want to create another tragedy for herself.”

Mask Girl Review:You should also experience the taste of having your child destroyed.

In the world, hatred is like seeds that are constantly growing and fermenting, planted by each individual. In the ending of “Mask Girl,” I personally feel that the screenwriter wants to convey the idea of letting go of desires and attachments.

It’s similar to Kim Mo-Mi in the past who hated this world because of the harm it caused her (feeling ugly, discriminated against, and treated cruelly). But it was also because she herself excessively pursued attention in this world, causing her to lose her true self.

The screenwriter portrays a scene where Kim Mo-Mi looks at her mother singing and dancing happily when she was young. Besides showing Kim Mi-Mo that her mother also had such moments of happiness, it also serves as a reminder to the audience that no matter what you do, there will always be people who like or dislike it.

When Kim Mo-Mi performed as a child, she didn’t care about how she looked; she simply enjoyed capturing that kind of happiness and dreamed of becoming someone loved by everyone when she grew up. This pure joy gradually fades away as Kim Mo-Mi grows up because we all live for others’ worldly judgments. Therefore, our own hatred, resentment, anger, and opposition are generated within ourselves.

If you think about it carefully, even a single sentence you say can plant seeds of resentment in someone’s heart and snowball into tragedy. However if based on sincere words or genuine emotions (like how Kim Ye-Chun genuinely likes Kim Mi-Mo), these injured souls can be protected from harm through companionship. And I believe Ju Oh-Nam, Kim Mo-Mi,andKim Chun-Ae never encountered such sincere individuals in their lives which is why their resentments continue to grow larger until their existence becomes tragic.