A Werewolf Boy tells the story of a girl named Soon Yi (Park Bo Young) who moves to the countryside with her mother and sister. Soon Yi has a lung ailment which is why their doctor recommended the move. Soon after moving into their new home, the family discovers a wild boy (Song Joong Ki) living in the barn. Wanting to help, the family takes him in and soon a relationship begins to form between Soon Yi and the boy.
This really was such a beautiful movie. It’s taken me way to long to get around to watching this. I don’t watch a lot of movies because I usually need more time to really get connected with the characters and like to get deeper into the plot and relationships. Two hours isn’t enough time for me to get invested most of the time. But their are exceptions with really excellent films, and I consider A Werewolf Boy to be one of those exceptions.
A lot of the credit for this movie being great goes to Song Joong Ki. Pretty much the moment he came on screen, I was fascinated by his character. He fully embraced being a wild boy with wolf-like mannerisms. All of the little nuances that went into his performance were phenomenal. And it says a lot about Song Joong Ki’s performance in that he had almost no lines during the entire movie. It was all his actions, mannerisms, and the intensity that came from his emotions that brought this character to life. I always wondered what he was thinking and what he was going to do.
Basically, he quickly becomes attached to Soon Yi. While the rest of the family cares for him too, she takes the initiative to ‘train’ him. And it works. Soon Yi teaches him to eat, to stay, and even begins teaching him to write. The family eventually gives him the name Chul Soo.
Park Bo Young nailed her role by perfectly encapsulating her character. Initially, Soon Yi is unhappy and depressed. But things really change when she meets Chul Soo. It’s like she develops a purpose in life by helping and teaching him. And along the way, the two become friends.
There was definitely a blurry line in their relationship. In most ways it was that of a master and a faithful pet, but Chul Soo was a boy, and sometimes I could feel the deeper connection between the two. But I wouldn’t worry about trying to define their relationship, just enjoy it for what it is. Beautiful.
I loved watching Chul Soo learn and grow, and even the growth in Soon Yi was a joy to see. Of course, the happy times can’t last. It’s so sad to watch as Chul Soo is constantly accused of wrong doing. The complicated nature of ‘what’ he is also creates many issues. People judge him, fear him, and misunderstand him. He’s treated terribly when he really does nothing to deserve it.
The more Chul Soo tried to help, the worse things seemed to get. The latter third of the movie is definitely heartbreaking. Chul Soo cares so much for Soon Yi, but others force him to go into hiding. Soon Yi has an intense goodbye when she must separate from Chul Soo for his protection. That’s when he utters his first words, “Don’t go.” Heartbreaking.
And man did I cry in the last couple scenes. Some 50 years later, we get a heartfelt reunion of Soon Yi and Chul Soo. She has become an old woman, but he remains exactly the same. The thing that gets me is that he faithfully waited for her all of those years. And when she returns, he is just happy. He is happy to see her, to show her what he has learned, and to tell her she is still beautiful. What a scene.
Overall, A Werewolf Boy is simple, poignant, and beautiful. The actors really brought these characters to life in an unforgettable way. I would definitely watch it again, and I highly recommend it.
My Rating: 8/10
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