Mamamoo: My Con the Movie, Jae-Kyung Lim

‘Mamamoo: My Con the Movie’ Gives Fans the Over-the-Top They Want

While following the customary format of K-pop documentaries, My Con the Movie shows the candid, magnetic sides of each member of K-pop sensation Mamamoo.

Mamamoo: My Con the Movie
Jae-Kyung Lim
Trafalgar Releasing
21 June 2023 (KR)

In an industry as competitive as K-pop, an artist can barely debut in a K-pop group if they don’t have talent and work hard to develop it: that’s the basics of how the K-pop system works. For Mamamoo, what has set them apart from other K-pop groups is a combination of the four members’ charisma, chemistry, unapologetically adult style, embracement of deeper tones and vibratos (in contrast to the usual singing style of K-pop girl groups), and of course, songs that showcase these powerful and distinctive vocals. 

You get to see all of that in Mamamoo: My Con the Movie, a record of the Seoul stop of Mamamoo’s world tour, combined with interviews and behind-the-scenes shootings. You can’t really say it’s equal parts a live concert and equal parts a documentary; the performances make the most of My Con the Movie (for its own good). 

A Mamamoo show is always “a treat for the eyes and the ears” (as described by one of the fans interviewed at the end of the film), but a merit of My Con the Movie shows more of the group’s story and background, and the creative process behind the concert. The customary takes of the artists practicing and preparing for the concert are here, but they serve more as a reaffirmation of what it means to be in a group that performs on the level of Mamamoo than to explain what took them that far. Still, Mamamoo: My Con the Movie does a good job of letting the candid sides of Solar, Moon Byul, Whee In, and Hwa Sa shine through. 

Almost a decade into the K-pop business (their debut was in 2014), the women of Mamamoo have spent more than half of their lives together, as Moonbyul says, to which Solar adds that now they’re closer to each other than to their own family and friends. Their synergy that oozes on stage is justified off-stage by the extensive interviews glimpsing details of their relationship with one another, as seen in lovely moments such as when they describe each other’s best qualities. Hwa Sa synthesizes their relationship as: “Despite everything, there is love.” 

There is love and respect for each other as artists as well. In My Con the Movie, Solar, Moon Byul, Whee In, and Hwa Sa perform solo songs released by each member but this time as a group. Their mutual admiration grows as they’re challenged to put themselves in each others’ shoes. (Wheein even jokes that she underestimated the complexity of some of the choreographies.) More than just spotlighting their individual works, the group performances prove how the four artists suit each other well despite having different styles.

When the four come together, they form one cohesive entity, and it’s easy to see why fans are drawn to how they carry themselves. The women of Mamamoo may be shy in their private lives, but they don’t shy away from owning the stage. They may get nervous, but as performers, they’re intimidating. My Con the Movie puts Mamamoos’s vulnerability in perspective with the personas they show live, but the performances don’t seem less convincing because of that.

Speaking of their approach to the stage, one line that best synthesizes Mamamoo’s passion for performing and meeting their fans comes from Hwa Sa. When referring to their last concert (an online one during the pandemic), she says she felt “like a cyber singer” for being unable to perform for a live audience. It’s hard not to think of how Hwa Sa’s testimony contrasts with K-pop’s recent reputation of being obsessed with avatars and metaverse shows.

Regardless of the format, Solar, Moon Byul, Whee In, and Hwa Sa are known for putting on a great show. That’s what they do in My Con the Movies. Songs like “Gogobebe” and “Egotistic” have their natural grandiose amplified by the live band. “Paint Me” sounds even more dramatic performed live — which should thrill fans because being a Mamamoo fan means you don’t mind a little over-the-top emotion – you may prefer it.

Structure and content-wise, My Con the Movie does not differ much from the usual K-pop music documentaries. But that’s not a crime when you get to see personalities as magnetic on stage and well-spoken off stage as Mamamoo. The real miss of My Con the Movie is that it doesn’t feature their performance of “Starry Night”.

RATING 7 / 10