Main Cast: Gong Yoo, Park Bo-Gum
Seo Bok is a South Korean sci-fi film directed by Lee Yong-Ju. The film follows the story of Min Gi-Heon (played by Gong Yoo) an ex-intelligence agent protecting the first human clone, Seo Bok (played by Park Bo-Gum). Seo Bok was created through genetic engineering and stem cell cloning and is the key for humans to live forever. He is named after the ancient Chinese alchemist and explorer who was tasked to find a plant that would provide eternal life.
By harnessing his bone marrow and stem cells, Seo Bok has the potential to cure any human disease, however as a result of his genetic modification, Seo Bok also has telekinetic powers, but experiences great loneliness as he is treated like a laboratory specimen for his entire life.
Despite not knowing much about Seo Bok, Gi-Heon agrees to protect Seo Bok as he is transferred from the laboratory in exchange for being one of the first candidates to receive Seo Bok’s stem cells to cure his brain tumor. However, as he continues to spend more time with Seo Bok, Gi-Heon learns about the extreme loneliness Seo Bok experiences and slowly begins to enjoy his company. Gi-Heon defies government orders and protects Seo Bok as various forces attempt to take control of Seo Bok and hold the key to eternal life.
I would definitely recommend watching Seo Bok. The movie itself was filled with action-packed scenes as Gi-Heon defended Seo Bok from the military and lab itself. Gong-Yoo and Park Bo-Gum also did a phenomenal job at playing their respective roles. Although both characters were awkward, distant, and never vocalized that they cared about each other, I could definitely notice how much they enjoyed each other’s company and their desire to protect each other. One of my favorite scenes of the movie was when Gi-Heon and Seo Bok were at a safe house and Gi-Heon made ramen for them. Given that Seo Bok is a literal human experiment and has only spent his life inside a lab, he only ever had supplements and food through a tube and was addicted to ramen and also didn’t know how to use chopsticks! It was cute to suddenly see three empty bowls in front of Seo Bok and hear him request that Gi-Heon make him a fourth.
The small interactions between Gi-Heon and Seo Bok were definitely endearing and entertaining, however Seo Bok also highlighted the price and dilemma of living forever. Although Seo Bok could definitely help save countless lives, it came at the price of his extreme loneliness and pain as his stem cells were extracted. Initially, Gi-Heon only cared about Seo Bok because he viewed him as the cure for his condition, however by the end of the film Gi-Heon recognized that the cost of eternal life came at the expense of Seo Bok’s well-being and advocated that they stop this mistreatment. However, the lab scientists and director did not view him as a human and felt no sympathy for the level of pain that their cures would cost. As society and science continues to become more advanced, Seo Bok asks the question at what price are we willing to pay for our health and eternal life?
Overall, I would recommend watching Seo Bok since it’s a phenomenal film that not only leaves you entertained and curious, but also makes you reflect on the true meaning of life and living each day to our fullest while enjoying the simplest things, like a bowl of ramen.