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Friday, March 7, 2014

You Should Be Watching: Werewolf Boy

It's been a while since I posted one of these.  This is mainly due to the fact that Netflix has apparently lost a lot of its licenses for various shows, movies, and mini-series that I was watching before I could finish.   The remaining selection is either so ridiculously old that it would be silly to write a review, or so hilariously horrible, that I can't even FINISH the first 30 minutes without falling asleep/getting bored/ or finding something better to do.

That said, I have a few questions for you.  Are you bored?  Looking for a new take on a classic genre?  Do you have two hours, a healthy respect for the supernatural, an open mind and ...your reading glasses?  If you do, you should definitely check out A Werewolf Boy.



Origins:
This subtitled movie was extremely popular in Korea where it was filmed.  I actually watch a lot of subtitled movies.  Despite the fact that many American movie-goers would shun foreign films because of the lack of hyper-realistic special effects, I find that often even the weirdest that the foreign market offers tends to have a refreshing flavor that American films lack.  You know, with less special effects, you HAVE to focus on making sure your story makes sense or is at least thought provoking.

A Werewolf Boy is an uncomplicated story that centers around a fictional case of feral child syndrome.  The titular character is found living in a kennel when a family consisting of a mother and her two daughters move into a tiny village.  Like all feral children, he's unable to speak and has terrible socialization skills.  However, it soon becomes clear that he is not the typical "raised by wolves" feral child. 

Characters:


This movie features a lot of female characters.  The mother (unnamed) is a kind-hearted and generous person, much to the chagrin of her children.  The eldest daughter, Suni, is very sickly, sheltered, depressed, and loathes everything about her life...and herself.  The youngest daughter is a careless, forgetful tomboy.  The 'Werewolf Boy' or Cheol Su (as he's later known during the movie) is curious and even though he lacks a certain degree of self-awareness at the beginning of the story, is actually very caring and loyal.  The antagonist is the only character that I have a problem with.  It's not because he's the antagonist, but because he's so comically horrible that he's simply annoying. 

What I Like About It:
Besides this...
While this movie is part of the romance genre, it's a much better love story than Twilight... or many other popular romance dramas.  Instead of smashing two characters with nothing in common together and blatantly painting a picture of idyllic love, A Werewolf Boy seeks to flesh out its main characters FIRST.  It draws the parallels of both Cheol Su's and Suni's VERY different lives before it slowly draws them together in a romance that just barely falls outside of the realm of platonic. 

It shows a reciprocity of both love and social situations between the two main characters.


Both lead catastrophically sheltered lives and are only regarded for their physical attributes.  Suni is pretty.  Cheol Su is strong.   Suni is treated as a meal ticket and a trophy.  Cheol Su is treated like a tool and a beast.  The thing that brings them together is food.  Though Suni is very sensitive to strong smells, she refuses to give up the only social interaction that she's starved for each day: Dinner with her family.  Cheol Su will not give up eating everything he sees because he's lived a life starved of everything.  It is from the dinner interactions and...altercations that they first recognize things about each other and themselves that they missed.



I won't give any more of the story away because I really want you to watch this film.  It's available on Netflix.  So, if you like romance, a decently thought out storyline and just a dash of supernatural elements and a happy ending that speaks of forgiveness and sacrifice, you should be watching A Werewolf Boy.

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