Song Joong-ki as "A Werewolf Boy"
A Werewolf Boy was released on October 31, 2012 with a shocking leap to the box office charts, earning the title, "most successful Korean melodrama of all time." Its premiere gained 100,000 admissions, knocking the 1 million mark in just 6 days and 3.6 million in only 12 days. As 7 million admissions were reported by December 16, the acclaimed movie was then officially announced as the 3rd highest-grossing Korean film in 2012.
An introvert and beautiful girl named Sun-yi (Park Bo-young) needs isolation from the city due to her lung problem, so her family moves to a small village. Her first night was eerie as she sees a glimpse of a shadow outside the house. She discovers the next day that they weren't alone. A feral boy (Song Joong-ki), seemingly with the same age as hers appears crouching in their yard. Her mother's very kind heart couldn't dismiss the boy so she decides to adopt him and names him Chul-soo . She assumes that his family has been a casualty in the Korean War and that left him as an orphan.
Sun-yi doesn't like Chul-soo because of his unhumanly behavior. He eats like a fierce animal, doesn't speak and doesn't know how to write. Sun-yi's disgust over seeing the tarzan-like boy plunging into any food that is served, uneases her so she finds a way to tame him through a dog-training manual. She patiently teaches him how to be civilized --- how to properly eat meals, how to speak, write and even tie his shoelaces. She later on finds out that he learns fast. She also uncovers an unbelievable strength when he saves her from an accident. The two youngsters become close but invites danger into their lives because of an envious suitor named Ji-tae. He starts causing trouble by brainwashing the villagers so that they would turn on Chul-soo. In an attempt to catch him, Sun-yi stops them and tries to protect Chul-soo but ends up being pushed to the ground. Chul-soo gets furious at the sight and unleashes the beast within him. He turns into a werewolf which frightens the villagers and Sun-yi's family. Chul-soo takes Sun-yi to the woods but the next day, she decides to leave him for his own safety. She tells him to wait for her.
Sun-yi comes back to the old house 47 years later with her granddaughter who looks as young as Chul-soo. To her complete astonishment, she sees Chul-soo in a shed as she walks in the middle of the night. He looked exactly the same as he was 47 years ago. She realizes that he has been waiting for her all along, reading her books and learning. He tells her that she still looks beautiful and she hasn't changed. The next day, Sun-yi receives a call from the county regarding the property and she instantly tells the caller that she's not selling the place. The movie ends with Chul-soo building a snowman.
What's interesting about the movie?
Long before the hit drama Descendants of the Sun made Song Joong-ki more famous than ever, he starred in this box office hit in 2012. I was curious about him being overly popular in the television industry so I searched if this actor actually has a movie. "A Werewolf Boy" was the first thing that caught my eye. The title itself is interesting.
The movie gave such a classic feeling. None of the scenes were too heavy that it was just so light to watch. The setting made it even more realistic and it was almost as if I was watching a movie in the 80's. Even the visual effects weren't overdone with extravagance.
Nothing can be more interesting than an illiterate and uneducated boy being tamed by a beautiful girl. It's a common topic that there's always that girl who can capture the heart of a beast but it works its charm all the time. Using a dog-training manual was perfect to make the scenes more engaging. From Chul-soo's development as a normal decent boy, to the discoveries about his real identity and werewolf transformation, nothing was overplayed. Everything was just perfect for a melodramatic story.
This is something that I truly miss --- just watching something that seems real and natural. I haven't seen this kind of film in decades. The raw elements was kept almost as it is except for the transformation. The images, visual effects and even the sound seemed very authentic, as if there was no post-production at all.
The film just purely showcased the talents of Song Joong-ki, Park Bo-young and the rest of the casts who were all recognized for their hardwork through awards and nominations.