Friday, February 14, 2014

Review: A Werewolf Boy (2012)

A Werewolf Boy (Review)
Jo Sung-hee/Park Bo-young/2012
Where to Watch:
Netflix Streaming
Amazon Prime

"...both leads share authentic chemistry."

Elderly Kim Suni returns to her old family home in South Korea where she reminisces of her younger self (Park Bo-young) and a relationship she developed with a feral boy (Song Joong-ki)...

A Werewolf Boy continues to follows Suni, who moves to this rural home with her mother and sister due to her illness, as she develops a relationship with a feral boy. Initially frightened, the family grows to accept the young man. They name this boy Chul-soo, and Suni begins to domesticate and civilize him. And so, Suni grows attached, and the feelings are mutual. The story mainly focuses on this odd yet understandable relationship, with plenty of humor and romance. Of course, there's a bit of a stereotypical antagonist, and a few plot contrivances, but A Werewolf Boy ultimately leads to a great, bittersweet ending.

A Werewolf Boy is a melodramatic fantast/romance film. The romance is effective in two ways, in my opinion: the love one would feel towards an animal, such as a dog, and the love one would feel towards a person, such as human intimacy. And, it is very effective in both ways creating a well rounded romance film -- I'm not telling you to get romantic with your dog, I'm saying these elements really compliment each other well. Suni and Chul-soo are developed to be likable and charming. They share great chemistry, and it continues to grow until the ending. I don't think it reached maximum effectiveness, though, as I didn't cry; I'm not above crying during films, either, A Werewolf Boy simply didn't reach that level for me. (it seemed to reach that level for so many reviewers on Netflix, though, so... different strokes for different folks.)

There are some plot contrivances, as well as a typical antagonist, though. I didn't really mind the plot contrivances, some were way too convenient, but they didn't bother me or affect the main elements of the film, either. As for the antagonist, he's predictable and hollow, and he's annoying and infuriating -- so he fits the antagonistic profile perfectly. Anyway, if you can get over these flaws, you're in for one incredible and creative tale of romance.

Park Bo-young plays her character well, her character goes through a wide range of emotions and Bo-young emotes almost perfectly; she's also very charismatic, and a great leading lady. Song Joong-ki also delivers a charismatic performance as a feral young man, he has great screen presence. And, both leads share authentic chemistry. The music matched the tone of the film perfectly. The film is beautifully shot, especially during the outdoor sequences. Jo Sung-hee writes and directs A Werewolf Boy and captures the authenticity of this relationship with great accuracy; the writing is creative, but it still feels like it's just barely over your typical teenage romance flick -- it feels like it really didn't want to alienate any teenage fans, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

Overall, A Werewolf Boy is a fantastic romance film. It fits the melodramatic category perfectly. The chemistry between both leads creates a very effective romance film, an entertaining film for all ages (although targeted more towards the teens and young adults). This is the type of film that would make those single people out there envious... Now, time for me to head to South Korea in search for A Werewolf Girl...

Score: 9/10
Parental Guide: Some violence and blood.

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