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Striving for the ultimate inner beauty can be deadly. Six gorgeous women from different walks of life decide to check into a high end YOGA studio with extremely strict rules. They follow the extreme rules as best they can to eventually gain the ultimate beauty. Strange and scary events begin to happen in this unusual place and the women begin to wonder why some of the other students go missing. Did they simply drop out of the class because of the rigid rules or is there some other evil presence killing the YOGA class one by one. Who will ultimately survive this horrific adventure to become the world's most perfectly beautiful woman?
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The way it does this is to implement a very interesting main theme: vanity and the striving for perfect beauty. In some ways "Yoga" is similar to films like "Dumplings" (2004) and "Time" (2006) because of their shared amalgamation of vanity and horror, as well as their common focus on communicating the lengths to which some will go to obtain beauty. Of course, the protagonists in "Yoga" are not quite as crazy as the characters in the aforementioned films, but they do have their moments of instability within the confines of the privately owned institute that they visit to perform their week-long series of intense yoga training. While none of these characters are especially complex, they are sufficiently developed to earn the viewer's interest.
Another important scriptwriting decision that makes "Yoga" more interesting than it should be is the introduction of a form of witchcraft. This witchcraft element is shown in more of a subtle manner than one might expect because it's not explicitly referenced at any point, yet is clearly the cause behind the beautification process as well as the nasty ramifications that befall those characters who do not follow the strict guidelines and rules laid forth by the institute's madam. This, of course, leads to some cool horror sequences that completely avoid most genre clichés like ghost girls, human-inflicted torture, and loud jump scares. There's ample use of creepy sound effects (like snake noises) and chanting to give a sinister vibe. The witchcraft angle just seems like a great decision by the filmmakers because it allows the film to breath life into the whole yoga premise.
With regards to the production quality, "Yoga" is what we've come to expect from the South Korean film industry. The yoga institute itself is a private mansion with very elegant architecture and spooky interior designs that add a lot to the visuals and atmosphere. The acting is solid for the most part and the camera-work is first-class (especially those close shots of hot girls twisting their bodies in all kinds of dubious positions).
The ending is a bit of a mind-boggler, but those looking for something different and fun might want to check "Yoga" out.
Yoga begins great, it is atmospheric, have some good acting and it it both traditional enough to give you that good feeling of anticipation over sitting down with a good Asian horror flick, and it is different enough to feel original, the story movies around nicely and half way through this movie I was really impressed, then however all went to the hounds. I am not sure what happened if the producers went out of money or what but the last part of Yoga is confusing and sloppy, the ending is anti climatic and unsatisfying and allot of elements are just left hanging, like for example Hyo-jung boyfriend, we never get to see what happens to him. Also the final explanation of what is going on is very confusing and all in all the end of this movie just felt rushed.
I give Yoga plus for originality, I also really enjoyed the first part of this film, the visuals are good, especially the Yoga studio who seam both creepy and serene at the same time, the actors do a good job, and the characters are pretty decent, I particularly enjoyed Nani the evil Yoga instructor. I also give this movie a plus for having an evil Yoga instructor, how many movies have that? :P However the last part of Yoga sort of ruins the film so I can not really recommend it. Good start, stunning visuals but sloppy ending.
...and I'm not being sarcastic here....
The film is never as scary as it wants to be. Actually it is never scary or rewarding overtly to me, but I guess to some it apparently is, judging by Reviews. It seems to be mainly concerned with female youth, beauty, acceptance, envy, duplicity (the double-cross), and success in a consumer-society.
While the acting (as always in most Korean films) is stunning and brilliant, the director has filmed this work in what I will call Relentless Shadow Vision---or constantly dark, dull, and claustrophobic. This director shows flashes of raw power and control in framing and picking certain shots, but, sadly, it does not predominate this work. Also, some of it is just cinematically trite or already been used a zillion times.
...okay, so maybe my German Pinscher puppy did interrupt me about 137 times but I think there are plot points missing here or just not explained. Such as: exactly What is the exact deal going on with the yoga-school propriator's eternal beauty, why was the director (in the movie) killed, and the beauty-girl and the Tv girl (i'll avoid a few spoilers here), and a few other things.
...okay so the puppy interrupted me 392 times in a half hour, but I still think the plot needs clarification, especially as a detective (me), I need facts :)
This film is kind of: Yoga Meets Voodoo Meets the Exorcist Meets Envious Betrayal.
I do recommend it for some, and-or maybe those interested in such paranormal horror phenomena; you will be rewarded, I am sure. It's a heartfelt, carefully crafted, stunning work.
( I hate it when the puppy hurls herself at the door, whines and screams that she totally MUST go out NOW or the world is doomed, and then she just stands there on the patio and just stares at the bushes or something. And she did the 432 times in 15 minutes.... )
Answer: The movie Yoga: Mind, Body and Tortured Souls.
In Yoga: Mind, Body and Tortured Souls vanity is the insanity that's going on here - the competitive vanity of anyone looking to be perfectly pretty or attractive in this world - thinking that this worldly possession will make them truly happy and eternally satisfied, better than someone else - the outward flesh giving them the power and love they want. The problem here with these women is that their concept of beauty is mercenary, grasping and close-fisted. Of course real yoga has nothing to do with this kind of thing - but here in this movie, where wounded searching souls come looking for answers down this false path of so called "yoga" things are not what they seem. Real yoga is like real beauty - is open and free, non-competitive.
This dark supernatural cautionary tale of envious/commercial vanity and your soul packs a formidable and frightful punch.
Not rated, but some language, no sex or nudity, has some scarey and or bloody images - so PG-13 or R?