Saturday, June 29, 2013

Hearty Paws (Movie)

This Korean movie was unbelievably beautiful and sad. It was fascinating to watch and you really feel yourself attached to that adorable and loyal dog. You can feel for the characters when you watch this movie. I absolutely enjoyed this movie. Not to mention, the main lead (besides the dog) is played by Yoo Seung Ho when he was a bit younger!
To be honest, the dog in this movie was absolutely amazing. That dog can act and the real dog's name is Dolly. So it's probably a girl. But I think the character of Hearty (the dog) is actually a boy because a the subtitles often wrote "he" for Hearty.

        The movie starts with a young boy named Chan Yi stealing a puppy in the middle of the night. He wanted to give it to his sister, So Yi, as a birthday present. So Yi wakes up to discover a puppy by her side and loves him a lot. She names him Ma Eum (which was translated as Hearty in English subtitles). They raise the dog till its fully grown. So Yi loved the dog a lot and treated it as if it was her own baby and she played a lot with the dog. Chan Yi also liked the dog as it continued to grow older. So Yi always talked of her mom, waiting for her mom to come back. Whenever Chan Yi went to school, So Yi would play dress-up with Hearty and then go to the bus stop to pick her brother up. The dog was extremely good-natured and clever. He was very much liked by So Yi and Chan Yi and he returned their love with loyalty.
        Chan Yi, a young boy, is looking after his little sister So Yi. Their mother had left them to find her own future and almost seemed to have abandoned these two children. She left them with the neighbors. However, the neighbors later on left these two children also because they got relocated to another place for work, leaving them with a little bit of money. Despite being alone, the two continue on in life. The brother takes care of his little sister well. So Yi, the little girl adores the back pack that her mother had bought her and never lets it go. She's also scared of the dark and refuses to wash her hair with her eyes closed. The two share a lot of adorable moments with one another. The little girl liked to draw pictures. They helped one another and took care of one another in their own ways. She would wait at the bus stop for her brother to come home from school and he would tease her about wetting the bed. She would often cry and call her brother a bird brain. They were happy in their own way with just one another and Hearty.
         Just when it felt like this small family was going to be happy. A sudden accident causes it all to change. It was in the winter when they decided to go sledding and to play on the pond (the pond had frozen over). However when Chan Yi told So Yi to wait for him while he went to go behind the bushes to do his business, the unexpected happened. A kite fell on a certain part of the pond and Hearty started barking at it.
         "No, he told me to wait," she said, not noticing what Hearty was barking at. Hearty ran to the kite and was trying to pick it up when the ice underneath him buckled and he went underwater. By now, we all know that So Yi absolutely adores the dog. Hearty is her best friend. As the dog struggled to come out of the icy water, So Yi began to edge closer and closer to where the dog was. Chan Yi looked up from where he was in the bushes and noticed So Yi edging to that huge puddle in the ice. She turned around and said, "Oppa." He immediately started running towards where she was telling her to stay put. But then the ice broke and So Yi went down into the water. He tried to run towards them to save her but the people watching over the pond stopped him, in fear that he might also go underwater like the girl had. In the water, the backpack came off of So Yi and floated to the surface. Hearty managed to crawl to the side of the ice and be safe. So Yi didn't and drowned, the entire time the brother trying to reach her but being restricted by the man who worried about Chan Yi's safety also. So Yi passed away, leaving Chan Yi and Hearty behind. Hearty, thinking that So Yi would return, waited at the bus stop for her. Chan Yi stayed at home, depressed. When Hearty went to the house, Chan Yi beat the poor dog calling Hearty a mutt and telling Hearty to leave the house.
          Chan Yi started carrying his little's sister back pack everywhere. The dog, still loyal as ever, began to follow Chan Yi around at a distance. Chan Yi decided to go find his mother and tell him about their situation and So Yi's death. Hearty was unable to go on the train with him and followed the entire way on the train tracks and using different tactics to get food. Chan Yi finds his mother but was greeted with a rather confused and annoyed mother. The mother didn't even know why he came "all of a sudden." It made him feel like a burden. He listened to his mother on the phone and heard her say, "I'm not taking him, okay?" Then at night, he saw his mother drinking and letting out deep sighs. This made him feel horrible to know that his mother didn't want him there. The next morning she says that she's going to America and won't be coming back. He was unable to tell his mother about what happened to So Yi and he left. He confided in So Yi's back pack which sort of represents her in a way. The entire time, Hearty was trying to get to Chan Yi and it was so touching how the dog wanted to be with Chan Yi.
           By himself, he meets two beggar children that were making up sob stories to earn money. They take him to their leader and he stays with them. He puts his sister's bag in a safe for the time being, but remembering that she was scared of the dark, he placed a light in the safe with her backpack. At that time Hearty managed to find the safe where So Yi's back pack was placed and stayed there all night, head leaned against the safe. Chan Yi starts to work with the other beggar children to get money in public transport. He makes friends with the girl that worked with him. Then Hearty found Chan Yi and started following him to where he was currently staying at. Hearty was mistreated at the place as the leader tried to turn him into a "real dog." It turned out the leader wasn't a nice guy and was using the kids to earn money. He would beat them if he felt like they earned less. The kids were all scared of the leader and after managing to escape, Chan Yi encounters the leader again. This time the leader is ready to get the kid and kill him. Hearty follows Chan Yi and takes care of him when he was sleeping in the subway station. Hearty used newspaper to cover him and managed to get a sandwich for Chan Yi. Hearty's eyes were also deteriorating (he had acute glaucoma). The dog can't see but continues to follow Chan Yi. Chan Yi feels bad and sorry for hurting the dog as he still loves the dog. Chan Yi wants to help Hearty by getting Hearty's eyes treated.
          However Chan Yi got weaker and weaker. Police officials finally find Chan Yi in the subway and take him to the police station. However the leader kidnaps Chan Yi and plans to kill him by drowning him. Hearty runs after the car for Chan Yi, trying to save Chan Yi, despite having a deteriorating eyesight. The bad guy tries to drown Chan  Yi by placing a hose in this container that continued to fill up. Hearty pulls away the hose but gets severely injured by the bad guy. Thankfully, Chan Yi is okay. Hearty is in pain but Chan Yi says that he wants to take Hearty home and let Hearty rest there. His mother, meanwhile, found out what happened to So Yi and went to their home to find Chan Yi. She realized how much they were suffering and went to go find Chan Yi and apologize. But Chan Yi is hateful towards her after suffering though so much.
          They go back to their home where Hearty continues to be in pain. One day Hearty urgently pulls on Chan Yi's jeans and Chan Yi realizes that Hearty wanted to go somewhere. Hearty wanted to go to the bus wait for So Yi. There Chan Yi tells Hearty that he stole him as a puppy, he told Hearty that he was sorry for being mean when he came to find him, he told Hearty that if he really missed So Yi, he can go find her. He also tells Hearty to remember all the good times the three had together.
           "I love you, Hearty," Chan Yi says and Hearty passes away to go find So Yi in heaven. He's heartbroken. After a while, his mother finally comes home to take on the role as a mother. As if a spirit was there, the picture that So Yi had drawn (that had fell underneath the desk) floated out and settled next to Chan Yi. The picture was a drawing of Chan Yi, So Yi, Hearty, and their mother all happy. The ending was sweet in its own way. This time instead of So Yi waiting at the bus stop with Hearty, it was Chan Yi waiting for So Yi at the bus stop. She gets off the bus. Chan Yi gets up and Hearty does too, energetically. The three of them run down the path as petals fly towards them. They are happy. And it ends with Chan Yi running forward and then stopping to look back. I guess it was way of showing that Chan Yi was going to always remember the happy memories the three of them had shared.

This movie is definitely heart-wrenching and it will bring you to tears, but I recommend it.

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