Yoo Ah In as Yoo Wan-deuk in PUNCH, a film directed by Lee Han. Picture courtesy CJ Entertainment. All rights reserved.


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Punch (2011)

Also Known As: Wan-Deuk, Wan-Deuki

Opened: 11/18/2011 Limited

Theaters (10+)11/18/2011
CGV Cinemas11/18/2011 - 12/22/201135 days

Trailer: Click for trailer

Websites: Home, Twitter, Facebook

Genre: South Korean Comedy/Drama

Rated: Unrated (PG-13 equivalent)


Wan-deuk is a high school student who lives with his hunchback father and has the unfortunate luck of being neighbors with his homeroom teacher. Despite his dad's diminutive size and handicap, Wan-deuk considers him to be the greatest man he knows. Wan-deuk has all the makings of a troublemaker: he gets bad grades and comes from a poor, underprivileged family. But when it comes to fighting, he has never lost a bout. With no hopes, dreams, and nothing to offer, there's only one thing in this world that Wan-deuk prays for--the day that his homeroom teacher, Dong-ju will disappear from his life.

Wan-deuk can't seem to get away from him; stuck with the man all day at school and beckoned by him at all hours of the night at home. Dong-ju exposes details of Wandeuk's family life to his classmates and even freeloads off the rice that Wan-deuk receives as government aid. On the brink of hopelessness, Wan-deuk is surprisingly introduced to his Filipino mother--a woman whose existence he himself had not known about.

Learning to take charge of the world with the help of his pestering teacher, the unlikely hero experiences emotional growth and what it means to have a dream.

About the Movie

A blessing in disguise: Dong-ju, a friend as well as a teacher

Based on the enormously popular novel about the coming-of-age story of "Wandeugi," this film adaptation is proving to be a big hit in South Korea at #1 in the box office for 4 weeks straight. A film that relates to all those who have had a life-changing mentor, Korean audiences are in love with PUNCH and the uplifting messages it evokes. Although firmly rooted in the coming-of-age genre at the start of the film, it transforms into a family and social drama dealing with such crucial issues of education, disability, and multi-culturalism.

"Wandeugi," the sensational best-selling novel that sold over 700,000 copies comes to life on the big screen this fall

Writer KIM Lyeo-Ryung's novel Wandeugi won the 1st Annual Changbi Prize for Young Adult Fiction in a unanimous decision by the judges. The novel tells the story of a boy named Wan-deuk whose underprivileged upbringing causes him to isolate himself in his own world. The nosy but compassionate care of his homeroom teacher Dong-ju compels Wan-deuk to slowly open up and truly interact with the world. The novel's lively wit garnered a great deal of attention from readers upon publication in 2008, and over 200,000 copies were sold in its first year of release. It was selected as a "Reader's Pick" on the online bookstore, Aladdin and many other top literature blogs. To date, "Wandeugi" has sold over 700,000 copies and continues to hold its place among Korea's top best-selling novels.

The novel takes what could be a rather serious and grave subject matter and boldly weaves it into an innovative and ebullient story through droll dialogue between refreshingly new characters. At the same time, a warm and soothing sentiment flows throughout the profoundly moving story, allowing for readers young and old to relate to the characters. The immense success of the novel eventually led to an adaptation of the story for the theater, resulting in an astounding 11 encore productions of the show after its initial opening.

In 2011, audiences will now have the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the original work through the film PUNCH as well as the amazing performances of KIM Yun-seok and YU Aine as the beloved characters Dong-ju and Wan-deuk.

PUNCH touches upon social issues involving multiracialism in South Korea

According to recent statistics, Immigrants in South Korea only count for around 1% of the population, but are a growing force as international marriages increase due to lack of marriageable Korean women in the countryside. Many immigrants from neighboring countries are paid to immigrate to South Korea for marriage and are also in Korea to escape from their own country's financial hardships. Unfortunately, they often face harsh living and working conditions with little to no support.

In the film, PUNCH, Wan-deuk finds out that his runaway mother is actually Filipino and has been attending a small multicultural church that is funded and headed by his worst enemy and teacher, Dong-ju. Shocked to find out about his Filipino mother as well as his multiracial ethnic background, Wan-deuk copes with these changes and learns to embrace his unique circumstances. Touching upon a current social issue in South Korea, PUNCH reveals the hardships and sentimental lifestyles of illegal immigrants in the country. As an avid supporter for the wellness and care of illegal immigrants who are working just as hard as anyone else in the country, Dong-ju encourages Wan-deuk to love his mother and himself as they are. Uplifting and heart-warming, PUNCH's witty and comedic humor is well balanced with the underlying story of multiracialism.

One of Korea's most talented and successful actors, KIM Yun-seok, joins YU Aine, a young rising star from the hit TV drama SUNGKYUNKWAN SCANDAL

KIM Yun-seok has established himself as one of the most beloved actors in the business, boasting talent and continual success at each role. He plays dramatic and unforgettable characters in films such as TAZZA: THE HIGH ROLLERS, THE CHASER, RUNNING TURTLE, WOOCHI, and his most recent film THE YELLOW SEA. KIM has worked with the likes of CHO Seung-woo, HA Jeong-woo, and KANG Dong-won, and now comes together on screen with the young star YU Aine. YU's performance as Geoloh in the hit TV drama SUNGKYUNKWAN SCANDAL was a nationwide sensation, often referred to as the "Geol-oh Fever."

KIM takes on a humorous and likeable new role in WANDEUKYI as the foul-mouthed but warm-hearted teacher Dong-ju. YU adds his signature combination of naivete and disobedience in his mature portrayal of the soft-spoken rebel Wan-deuk. The two talented actors come together on screen for the first time, telling the unique story of a mentor and mentee who gradually change one another's lives despite their unfriendly beginning. The combination of KIM's acting talent and YU's evolving performance results in an intriguing encounter audiences won't want to miss.

A nosy teacher and a soft-spoken rebel... An unpredictable set of characters that evoke laughter through witty dialogue

One of PUNCH's greatest strengths is the unpredictable and lively personalities of its lead characters. Dong-ju is a teacher who freely uses profanity and harsh words in front of his students and earnestly tells them that they really needn't bother studying if they don't have the brains to begin with. Unlike any other teacher before, this character breaks the encouraging and loving teacher stereotype. Wan-deuk is also a new kind of rebel who likes to think he can physically fight off anyone who challenges him and pleads with God to kill his meddlesome teacher. The back-and-forth bickering and witty dialogue between the two often progresses in a direction as unpredictable as the characters themselves, emphasizing the humor and heartwarming qualities of their idiosyncratic relationship. Even the supporting characters are unforgettable: the grumpy next-door neighbor who constantly screams out profanities and the various classmates each with their own set of teenage problems to deal with. Every character is unique without being exaggerated and familiar while being surprisingly refreshing. The laughter they create together, combined with each character's moving story, will create a whole new kind of movie-going experience.

Characters and Cast

Yun-seok KIM as DONG-JU

DONG-JU, the nosy teacher who tries to defy the world "I told you, you shouldn't study. The world is in the hands of just one or two brilliant minds anyway."

Dong-ju is Wan-deuk's blunt and outspoken homeroom teacher who has a unique educational ideology: he constantly tells his students that in reality, the only ones who are likely to make it in the world have to study. He doesn't bother to encourage his students to work during study hall, which he typically uses as naptime. On the other hand, Dong-ju won't let anyone get away with cutting class--ever. The students have aptly nicknamed him "Dung-Zoo". Dong-ju and Wan-deuk are also next-door neighbors, making it impossible for Wan-deuk to get away from his teacher's incessant meddling. Dong-ju constantly calls him out to the rooftop and even barges into his house on a regular basis to have a drink with Wan-deuk's father. Whether Wan-deuk likes it or not, Dong-ju sticks his nose in all aspects of Wan-deuk's life. Deep down, however, Dongju's warm heart embraces Wan-deuk, and he gradually becomes his mentor that draws him out to face the world.

KIM Yun-seok: One of Korea's finest actors returns as a unique mentor

KIM Yun-seok has quickly established himself as a talented actor and major box office numbers are contributed by countless memorable performances. His rise to stardom began with his role as the antagonist Ah-gui in TAZZA: THE HIGH ROLLERS, which drew an astounding 5.8 million viewers to the cinemas. KIM followed up with 2008's THE CHASER, where his striking performance as detective UM Jung-ho earned him six Best Leading Actor awards and drew over 5 million viewers. He has since transformed himself time and time again in roles ranging from the most cutthroat villain in THE YELLOW SEA to the most relatable simple detective in RUNNING TURTLE. In PUNCH, KIM Yun-seok transforms yet again into the teacher Dong-ju--a true mentor who, in his own unique way, guides Wan-deuk into the world. KIM showcases humor and sentimental drama unlike any other in the business and is sure to win over the audience through a role that surpasses all of his past performances.


WAN-DEUK, a soft-spoken rebel who has turned his back on the world "Please, just kill Dong-ju for me."

Wan-deuk is a rebellious high school student who comes from an underprivileged family. He gets the lowest grades in his class, but no one can beat him in a fist fight. It's not that he likes to fight, but he can't stand it when anyone messes with his father and uncle. It seems as though his life can't get any worse when his homeroom teacher "Dong-ju," begins to meddle in his business and exposes rather embarrassing personal matters to everyone at school. There's also no escape at home, since Dong-ju lives right next door and taunts him day and night. Wan-deuk is so sick of him that he goes to church every day and begs to God to kill Dong-ju for him. But soon enough, Wan-deuk comes to realize Dong-ju's sincerity and discovers the true intent behind all the pestering. Wandeuk eventually begins to open his heart to his nosy teacher, and to the rest of the world.

YU Aine: A bold transformation to surpass the "Geol-oh Fever" syndrome

YU Aine made his debut as a naive high school student in the teen drama series SHARP. He then starred in the independent feature film BOYS OF TOMORROW, flawlessly capturing the volatile angst of youth, and won the Best New Actor award from the Pusan Film Critics Association Awards. It quickly made him the center of attention in the Korean film industry. In last year's hit TV drama series SUNGKYUNKWAN SCANDAL, YU took on the masculine role of "Geol-oh" and created a nationwide sensation referred to as the "Geol-oh Fever." He now takes on the challenge of the soft-spoken rebel Wandeuk. Using his unique combination of naivete and defiance, YU effortlessly captures the dual nature of Wan-deuk, a seemingly indifferent young man with a tender, deeply buried heart. He was extremely dedicated to his role, investing three months in actual boxing training prior to the shoot. "You often wonder in your teenage years if anyone's life could possibly be more miserable than your own, and I think the memories I have of my own teenage experience really helped in portraying Wan-deuk," says YU. This solid method of basing his performance upon his personal understandings is sure to generate yet another fever this fall.

Han LEE (Director)

Director Han LEE made his debut with the feature film LOVER'S CONCERTO (2002), starring CHA Tae-hyun and SON Ye-jin. LEE received both critical and popular acclaim for the film, a sweet depiction of pure, unassuming love with an unfettered visual aesthetic. In 2006, LEE followed his successful debut with the box office hit ALMOST LOVE, in which he captured the vivacity of youth; it starred major actors KWON Sangwoo and KIM Ha-neul. LEE then showcased his ability to reinvent old ideas with his innovative 2007 film MY LOVE, a romantic film that told the various love stories of different couples. PUNCH is Han LEE's fourth feature film and it illustrates the unique connection between Wan-deuk and Dong-ju, two men who have become one another's mentor and mentee. LEE's heartwarming brand of directing combined with his eye for detail will undoubtedly make the film as emotionally affecting as his previous works.