The explanation of the ending of Mask Girl, the South Korean Netflix series that is making headlines for how it has brought to light the condition of women in contemporary society and the instrumentation of her body and beauty considered canonical.
Quickly jumped into the Top 10 on Netflix where it still hangs in the charts, the platform’s new original South Korean series, Mask Girl, is making the rounds on everyone’s lips. This is because it combines a female generational story with a ferocious critique of the world we live in – both Eastern and Western – in which women become the object of appreciation, discussion and judgment by men, who are almost not interested in the face and personality which that body is associated with, making it worse than an object.
Although in our opinion it is a not exactly successful serial experiment, with a little too many tones and contents mixed in an uneven way, it remains an important reflection on the consequences of a small gesture in a butterfly effect that leads to an epilogue on tones of horror, but above all a ploy to talk about a very current topic: the condition of women today. In our Mask Girl ending explained, we’re going to see the use of Greek tragedy mixed with K-drama in the story being told. Obviously, beware of spoilers if you haven’t seen it yet!
The price of beauty
The second work of the protagonist, Kim Mo-mi (initially played by Lee Han-byeol), come camgirl who entertains her spectators by wearing a mask because she was always told that her face did not meet society’s standards of beauty and therefore could never go on stage, leads her into a spiral of violence and death after she is discovered from a colleague. This leads to a crazy sequence of events up to the killing of a series of men – with relative dismemberment of corpses to get rid of them – to take revenge for the abuses suffered, including a rape. Among the murders, the death of colleague Oh-Nam (Ahn Jae-hong), on whose grave her mother Kim Kyung-ja (Yeom Hye-ran) swears vengeance. However, Mo-mi becomes pregnant following the violence and from that horror her daughter Mi-mo will be born, soon estranged from her biological grandmother who wants to raise her without knowing the truth about her mother (a theme addressed, for example, also in Happy Valley) .
Meanwhile the woman is discovered and arrested – more than ten years have passed since the beginning of the story until 2023, and this explains the different casting for the titular character) – with her name from camgirl which becomes the one from serial killer: a symbolic “baton” passage for the theme that revealed the series: that of the condition of women in today’s society, which we have seen accepting appellations and not too veiled harassment by colleagues and superiors in the office and which has led to birth of Mask Girl, almost in dissociative personality disorder. In fact, the girl even resorts to plastic surgery to literally change her features (played by Nana once he enters prison) and thus taking the concept of “beauty” to extremes. A concept greatly amplified also by social networks, on which the camgirl he performed and on which he received like of appreciation, which show the distortion of reality that occurs today, and which represent only a perception of reality and not reality itself. In nomen omen said an ancient Latin saying that spoke of omen: it seems to be the case of the stage name chosen by Mo-mi.
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From mother to daughter
What this K-drama, directed by Kim Yong-hoon and based on Mae-mi’s webtoon of the same name published between 2015 and 2018, did in the end combine its tradition with that of the Greek tragedy of the fathers’ faults falling on their children by focusing on the generations female protagonists. In fact, in a chain reaction, we witness the approach of the “grandmother” in disguise (it is Kim Kyung-ja), with a van selling dumplings, towards Mi-mo (Shin Ye-seo), who discovers that she is the daughter of Mask Girl. He manages to make her run away from home and take refuge with her in the South Korean countryside, while her biological grandmother goes on her trail together with a schoolmate, the only one who really cares about her little girl. At the same time we are witnessing a scenario from Orange is the New Black with the prison life of Mo-mi (now played by Go Hyun-jung), which began in the most total rebellion (with various episodes of isolation and brawls) and continued in the (apparent) approach to God, thanks to the extremely believing new director. Mo-mi then manages to curry favor with her most prominent prisoner and “friend of the guards” to convince her to donate a kidney and then undergo a transplant outside the prison, having an excuse to leave her.
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Mo-mi e Mi-mo
Obviously the protagonist of Mask Girl takes advantage of the opportunity to try to escape, but she does it only to save her daughter from the “grandma”, who has come to know that she is holding the child prisoner. The epilogue closes the circle on all the female characters, the focus and point of view of the entire drama, in which men are the cause of pain and violence to varying degrees. They will all meet at Kim Kyung-ja’s house and there will be the final showdown. The latter drugs and ties Mi-mo to a chair of hers and would like to kill her to inflict the same pain felt for the death of her son on the protagonist. Miraculously, both the biological grandmother and the child’s mother will arrive in time, and both will die in two different and equally tragic moments to save her, while the police will break in and kill the “grandmother”. A last sacrifice that perhaps will not serve to atone for one’s sins but at least to demonstrate that under the mask and under all the violence, there was the purest maternal instinct on Mo-mi’s part. In fact, in the end we see Mi-mo being able to finally start over in a new school together with her friend, ready to ride a free bicycle towards the future. Even a glimmer of hope can arise from the horror and the rotten, and we hope that the teachings of dependence and spasmodic search for the canonical beauty are not followed by the little girl too, according to the law of criminal DNA also explored in Happy Valley.