The first time I watched Temptation of Wolves (a.k.a Romance of Their Own) I didn’t like it. It just felt trite and silly. Then some pals began discussing it (gushing about it, actually) and that spurred me to do a rewatch. This time I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Peer pressure, eh? Well, not really. Two male leads in this 2004 movie and I had eyes for the one that none of my pals liked. Ha!
Here are my witterings on the movie and the special features in my limited-edition set. Be warned that this post will be long and disjointed. Also, enjoy the (as usual) random-and-not-corresponding-to-the-exact-text pics. ^^
I thought Lee Chung-ah plain-looking when I first watched the movie, but now I think she’s right for the part of Han-kyung. She has an endearing wide-eyed innocence which sets her apart from the other girls in her high school. No wonder Hae-won (Jo Han-sun) falls hard for her.
The acting is another matter, though. Her inexperience really shows. In an interview Lee Chung-ah revealed the tough time she had on the set. Her character had to cry a lot and she just could not get herself into a state where the tears would come naturally. There’s a scene where Jo Han-sun is carrying her on his back and she’s supposed to sob as she thinks of Tae-sung (Kang Dong-won). They had to redo the scene more than 25 times because she could not cry.
Speaking of Jo Han-sun, I know many of my pals really like him here, but I think his role is less meaty than Kang Dong-won’s. Still, his Hae-won character is very sweet in his devotion to Han-kyung and I like how he comes to Tae-sung’s aid repeatedly when the latter is getting beat up. Strangely, on this second viewing I even like the fights!
My favorite character is still Tae-sung. Kang Dong-won delivers, especially when he reveals to Han-kyung how much he hates “heaven” for throwing them together in a relationship that is against his will.
In his debut movie Too Beautiful to Lie, Kang Dong-won was obviously overshadowed by the very experienced Kim Ha-neul, but here in Temptation of Wolves he is the main character for me. It’s not easy to describe Tae-sung because he harbors so much angst, but I love the layers in his character.
If you’re a fan of the leads and you like this movie, I suggest getting the limited-edition set. You won’t regret it one bit. It comes with a hardcover 64-page photo book that is loaded with pictures. There are many making and behind-the-scenes clips with the three stars and the PD giving commentaries.
In one making clip Jo Han-sun and Lee Chung-ah kiss on a busy highway. We can see vehicle after vehicle slowing down to watch the filming, but because it’s a very busy road, the crew keep waving the cars along. Kang Dong-won cheekily helps to direct the traffic, too.
Another scene (the one I talked about earlier where Lee Chung-ah had a hard time crying) is supposed to take place on a deserted street. At least that’s how we see it in the movie, with just she and Jo Han-sun walking (he piggybacks her and she sobs away). But in the making clip we see a really large crowd looking at the couple!
In one of the movie’s pivotal scenes–the fight that takes place in the abandoned warehouse–the making clip shows Jo Han-sun exhausted as he lies on a table. He and Kang Dong-won do all the stunts themselves. In another fight, this one in an alley, Kang Dong-won is running and kicking, and then abruptly he trips and falls flat on his face. Ouch! He keeps touching his jaw after that and seems visibly in pain. Poor guy seems accident-prone. On the beach in Australia, he is supposed to run into the pounding waves. Guess what? Yup. Slips and falls. Not part of the script, alas.
There are many more making clips in the bonus features as well as 15 minutes of deleted scenes which I thoroughly enjoyed. They are really neat scenes and I’m surprised they were left out of the final cut. In one of them we see Hae-won bursting into the classroom and surprising Han-kyung with a huge bouquet of flowers. So sweet of him. There’s also a hilarious scene where he’s being pursued by a gang and he runs into the girl’s toilet to hide.
In the movie we see Tae-sung speeding on his bike, but in the deleted scenes we see the scene before that where he’s talking to Han-kyung. I found that a very sweet and sad encounter between the two. After the bike scene, he arrives home, finds her sleeping on his bed, and he’s so gentle with her. I wonder why these scenes were deleted.
Another of the special features shows the three stars at their poster shoot on a small airfield with many small planes around. The day is blustery and the crew are all bundled up in their winter gear, but the three leads wear summer clothes for the shoot. We can see how red Kang Dong-won’s ears are from the cold and wind. There’s also a very long clip where he’s in Australia shooting the scenes of him abroad. His eyes are like slits, perhaps from lack of sleep and also from being out in the open sea for so long.
The last of the special features is titled “School Attack.” I assumed it would be a fight scene in the school, but it is actually a press screening (I think) and the audience is made up mostly of school girls. As Kang Dong-won and Lee Chung-ah take turns to talk, they are completely drowned out by the screams of the girls in the audience. One of them even comes on stage, grabs Kang Dong-won by the neck, and kisses him. No wonder it is called “School Attack”!