Afterthoughts of ‘완득이’

Hi Haveners~

After watching 완득이, friends had asked me to write a review~ I have been thinking about it for a while now~ Finally, here is what I have…  These are some afterthoughts of mine…  I am sharing them with you~ Can it be considered as a review?! haha~ You can decide it~

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Ever since I found out that ‘Punch’ will be showing in New York Metropolitan area, I have been counting the days and trying to figuring out a way to get to the theater.  After some planning, I finally managed to figure out when and how so that I can get to the theater in New Jersey.

The day finally was here.  We decided to leave early just to make sure that we don’t miss the movie due to the traffic that often occurs in NYC.  The theater is not in New York but in New Jersey.  So, we have to go through the NYC traffic and cross the George Washington Bridge to get to the theater.  Unfortunately, as we were getting closer, we took a wrong turn which made us ended up on the road that we couldn’t make the right exit!!  After 15 minutes of going around, we finally got on the right side of the road and got to the theater in one piece.

Before seeing the movie, I had read many articles and interviews about it.  So, I did know the story line.  If you are interested in the synopsis of the movie, you can click here to read about it.

Wan-deuk, played by Ah In, is a 17-year-old student who was always by himself and did not get along with anyone.  He sort of separated himself from his peers.  It feels like as if he was looking at this world as an outsider.  What’s happening in his classroom with his classmates did not concern him at all.  He didn’t do well at school and often got into fist fights.  Since his father was a dancer in a cabaret, he pretty much spent most of the time there as he was growing up.  His father took in a guy who was mentally challenged and taught the guy how to dance.  Eventually, the two of them worked together to earn their living on the road when the cabaret closed down.  To Wan-deuk, that was his family.  And that was how he lived.

However, things started to change when he met his homeroom teacher, Dong-ju, who ended up to be a social activist and happened to be his neighbor also.  Dong-ju showed his care of Wan-deuk through a very unique way.  It almost appears that Dong-ju enjoyed picking on Wan-deuk to the point where Wan-deuk always prayed for Dong-ju to be dead.  But, through the process, Dong-ju brought Wan-deuk and his long lost mother back together.  It was very touching when Wan-deuk took his mother to buy a pair of new shoes and then took her to the bus stop.  She asked if she could give him a hug.  The emotion between the two actors was just so moving.

Meanwhile, Wan-deuk also “discovered” that Dong-ju was just a human being like himself.  Dong-ju even asked Wan-deuk for advice on how to get a girl’s attention.  Dong-ju even copied Wan-deuk’s love letter.  The funny part was it actually did work.  I have to say the love letter was very cute.

In addition, Dong-ju also introduced Wan-deuk kickboxing.  It sure helps to release all that extra energy in a 17-year-old boy.  It also gave him a sense of goal in his life.  Although in a match, he got beaten up pretty badly, at the end of the match, he was finally laughing so happily.  It appeared that he was satisfied even if he lost the match.  With the help of Dong-ju, Wan-deuk finally opened up and started to be with his peers just like a 17-year-old boy would do.

One thing that I haven’t mentioned is their relationship with another “crazy” neighbor.  From being fighting all the time to being getting along at the end, the movie shows how different people can tolerate each other and find a way to get along.  Again, I feel that in this movie, it shows how different relationships evolved through time and how their interactions bring them closer to each other despite many differences among them.  There are a couple different issues which were brought up in the movie that are important, such as multicultural relationships and illegal immigrants.

Overall, it is, just like many had said, a very heart-warming movie.  It’s funny, refreshing, touching, and yet brings attentions to some social issues that exist in the current society.  The interactions between actors and how they portray their roles are really good and natural. Especially, I feel that Ah In did a great job portraying the role of Wan-deuk.  Throughout the movie, Ah In displayed so many detailed gestures that can only be found in a 17-year-old boy.  He showed them with his body languages, with his facial expressions, and with his eyes.  I have to say I really enjoyed the movie.

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4 thoughts on “Afterthoughts of ‘완득이’

  1. Thank you very much, Mathed!
    It’s sad though that we will not get to see the film in Thailand! Not in the cinema, I mean. However, later on , we might be able to buy DVDs of the movie.
    The story line sounds familiar, but I heard, as everybody does, that it’s been so pupular due to the wonderful cast and production. Congratulations to Yoo Ah In and everyone involved!
    By the way- How many tickets did the admins manage to provide for young students from the donations we made? I hope they all enjoyed the film!

  2. I too was able to catch the film on the 2nd day of its filming here in Toronto (it was showcased in the theater for one week) and I cannot agree more with what you said. I find this one to be a gem. Like his other roles, Ah In was able to portray his given role with justice, immersing the audience completely. It truly did have a touch of everything as it will leave you smiling from ear to ear one moment, speechless in another, and tearing up with warmth in your heart.

    Although the theater was not filled to its capacity, I can assure you that those who went left the place with nothing but good comments. When the lights turned back on, there was an electric flow of buzzing left and right at how well put together the production was. I went to see this with a friend of mine who was A) against watching a movie because he didn’t want to spend money B) not into movies with sub titles. Regardless, by the end of it, he had admitted that it was well worth it. I think one of the most touching things was that seated somewhat near me was a couple in which one partner was blind. Their respective other took time to lightly read the entire movie to her. Although she was unable to actually ‘see’ the film, she joined in the laughing and crying.

    If it wasn’t for my school schedule interfering, I wouldn’t have hesitated one bit in watching it again during it’s streaming time here. With that being said, I will definitely buy it on dvd when it comes out. Definitely time and money well spent!

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