A Werewolf Boy 늑대소년 in Toronto

Courtesy of CJ Entertainment
Courtesy of CJ Entertainment

The Korean film – A Werewolf Boy 늑대소년 – is coming back to Toronto! I say back because it was one of the Korean films that played at TIFF. I watched it there and I highly recommend it. In fact, I enjoyed it so much, I’m going to see it again. ^^

Want to know why I’m going to see it again? Here’s a slightly altered version of my review from the TIFF screening.

This is a poignant tale of love, coming-of-age, and loyalty that is so sweet and innocent; it’s a film I can’t wait to see again. Seriously, I think the entire audience at TIFF fell in love with the werewolf boy – Chul-soo, played by Song Joong-ki – and I was no exception. Okay, perhaps just the women but still, he’s such a fabulous character… you just want to hug him.

It’s told in two time-frames. One – only a small part of the actual tale – is set in modern-day; while the other – the majority of the film – is set 47 years earlier. The main female character – Suni, played as a girl by Park Bo-young and as an older woman by Li Young-lan – is ill and the family moves to the Korean country-side for her health. There, they meet the werewolf boy, Chul-soo and bring him into their home, kind of like a stray dog. Suni teaches/civilizes him using a dog training manual (no joke) and everyone’s happy for a time. Unfortunately, there a spoiled brat of a man who wants to marry Suni (did I mention she’s still in high school) and who makes loads of trouble. 

The film is simply lovely and was a pleasure to watch. But it’s not all lightness and love… like many Korean films, The Werewolf Boy blends genres and there are glimpses of violence and darkness. But ultimately, it’s a feel-good film with a wonderful twist at the end. I laughed, I cried (twice), I fell in love, I wanted to hit some of the characters and I sighed. And as you all know, I love films that make me feel… and you will too. Go see it, you’ll love it too.

And that – along with the fact that they will be playing an alternate ending – is why I’ll be there on Friday… watching it again. ^^

Cindy Zimmer

Live life to the fullest everyday - this is a the philosophy I try to live by and it's taken me on many adventures. I write about Korean culture from a non-Korean perspective as the editor/founder of ATK Magazine and I'm the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Toronto Korean Film Festival (TKFF). Previously, I ran a Korean-English language exchange group (in Toronto) for 3 years to stay connected to my three years living in Korea as an English teacher. I love music, film, food and sports and write about 3 of the 4.

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