Movie: A Werewolf Boy

Song Joongki and Park Boyoung Wolf Boy

After seeing how perfectly matched Song Joongki and Park Boyoung were on a Running Man episode 2 years ago, I’d been wanting to see them act together—and finally A Werewolf Boy has fulfilled my wish.

Watch with English subtitles HERE or HERE.

Song Joongki – Cheolsu
Park Boyoung – Suni/Soonee (young)

The movie is framed as an elderly woman Suni returns to the cottage in which she lived during her youth, recalling her tender but painful memories from 47 years ago. The young Suni’s family had just moved into the countryside due to problems with the introverted and cold teenager’s lungs. One day, she discovers a strangely-behaving boy who seems to have been locked up for a while; he neither speaks nor shows comprehension of human language. The family decides to temporarily care for him and name him Cheolsu. Over time, Cheolsu and Suni’s presences in each other’s lives induce transformations in both of them, as Cheolsu’s manner becomes gentle and protective over his newfound “trainer” and companion Suni, whose warmth grows to replace her dissipating loneliness. However, with Cheolsu’s bestial instinct provoked by the arrogant Jitae, the son of Suni’s late father’s businesspartner, he is suddenly in danger from the town that deems him a threat and must separate from the girl with whom he’d just fallen in love.

(Note: Don’t worry about being spoiled a bit if you’ve yet to watch this movie, because seeing the visual execution and the characters before your eyes has a completely different impact. They drive the story—not a complex plotline that requires written explanation.)

This record-breaking movie was exceptionally well received, and although I was initially slightly skeptical, I now can see why.

To be honest, the storyline isn’t all that original or impressive. Most of the movie and its elements are somewhat predictable, and you can’t help but feel a slight throwback to Twilight. The cinematography especially had me doubting if the movie’s success was deserved. The beginning of the movie was where the cinematographic flaws were the most prominent: the unnecessarily unstable camera, the blinding lighting which should’ve been toned down, the white objects practically glowing and bouncing light everywhere. It really irked me. DIRECTOR, WHY…?

But the acting, character development and interactions, and work of pathos drove it all home and easily snatched all of our hearts only to crush them singlehandedly and mercilessly.

Because everyone put so much heart into their acting, you can really feel the world of the movie come alive as you develop attachments to the main couple; the innocent children; and the hardworking, open-minded, caring, sincere, understanding, and kind mother.

Song Joongki and Park Boyoung

Suni and Cheolsu’s interactions especially make the movie. So naturally did they open up to each other, learn from each other, and fall into an unspoken forbidden but pure love. And it doesn’t help that Song Joongki and Park Boyoung are so cute together, with chemistry that ropes you aboard before you even decide that you want to ship it. Joongki is handsome and charming, Park Boyoung gorgeous in her adorable way, both have great complexion and babyfaces with perfect smiles, both are sweet and intelligent people, I have crushes on both of them, and life continues to be fucking unfair.

Park Boyoung did a wonderful job as the hurt and borderline-depressed teenager turned spirited and strong, but I really must applaud Joongki the loudest. His performance in every scene and every form was OUTSTANDING, and it might’ve had a little to do with the fact that he basically had no verbal lines to memorize. You can tell he worked really hard to learn how to express his character and the movements and behaviors required. Whether like a wild wolf, a lost puppy, or lovestruck and gentle teenager—Joongki pulled it off believably. Amazing. :D

Song Joongki HOW Song Joongki

But maybe their acting is a little too good.

I was incredibly confused for the first 2/5ths of the movie BECAUSE I COULDN’T TELL THAT THE TWO PEOPLE THAT WE WERE SEEING WERE SONG JOONGKI AND PARK BOYOUNG. I have to partially blame the fact that Boyoung plays BOTH the young version of the grandmother Suni, AND the granddaughter Eunjoo. WHY, DIRECTOR . . . ?!?!

So it was like, “Wait is this Boyoung aka the main girl then? Where did the grandmother go then? Or is this the grandmother when she was young? So that means it’s not actually Boyoung?! Come to think of it, she doesn’t really look  or act like Boyoung but at times she does… They did a great job at casting a girl with great resemblance to Boyoung! Oh, so if this girl isn’t Boyoung then this boy probably isn’t Joongki. UNLESS IT IS? But then it completely doesn’t look like Joongki either… WHAT’S GOING ON?

Turns out it really was Boyoung and Joongki the entire time. =_= And Boyoung plays two roles, which is dumb.

Anyhow, it’s scary how they acted and looked differently to the point that they couldn’t be recognized. Somehow they’re both talented(?) at seeming like different people just with different angles or expressions.

It’s also the make-up, but I can’t exactly pinpoint why I think Joongki especially looks like an entirely different person for the first half of the film. His face looks so fundamentally different. Perhaps it’s also due the disappearance of his signature milky skin and eyesmile? I still don’t know!!

Song Joongki and Park Boyoung 2

At times, I was wincing and closing my eyes (ㅠㅠ.. the scary and violent parts), at times squealing enthusiastically over the adorable couple and their awkwardly sweet antics, but at the ending… tears just came out on their own. And kept flowing.

There’s something magical about this movie—and I’m not talking about the werewolf fantasy element—in the way that it invokes emotion. You will enjoy the movie, yet your inevitable hanging feeling of dissatisfaction is what makes the movie complete. And it all lingers. It’s a film that makes a strong impact.
I highly recommend A Werewolf Boy.<3

Heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time, this story of eternal love shows that the world does move on and change, but even so, some things don’t have to. Some things can endure and wait.


February 23, 2013. Tags: , , . Movies, Song Joongki.

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