Masquerade (2012)

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Ratings: 8.5/10 from 1,565 users
Reviews: 9 users

The confusing and conspiratorial 15th ruler of Korea's Joseon Dynasty King Gwang Hae orders his secretary of defense, Heo Gyun, to find him a double in order to avoid the constant threat of assassination. Heo Gyeon finds Ha Seon, a lowly acrobat and bawdy joker who looks remarkably like the king, and just as feared, King Gwang Hae is poisoned. Heo Gyeon proposes Ha Seon fill the role as the king until read moreGwang Hae recovers fully and grooms Ha Seon to look and act every bit the king.

  • Native title:

    나는 조선의 왕이다
  • Also Known as:

    I Am the Joseon King ; Ghwanghae, Man Became A King ; Gwanghae, Wangyidoen Namja ; 광해, 왕이 된 남자

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14 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Jun 22, 2013
  • Overall 10
  • Story 9.0
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 8.0
  • Rewatch Value 8.0
Okay my overall score is a bit high...but let me defend it.

I didn't go into this movie with a lot of expectations because other than Han Hyo Joo, I'm not really interested in much of the cast. (I know I'm wretched). The premise interested me but what kept me watching was the absolutely magnetic performance of Lee Byung Hun.

He is beyond talented and he deserves all the praise he gets read more for being a great actor and if you don't believe me or really wonder why Korea thinks he's 'all that' watch this movie. It will clear up all the doubts you ever had of him. Just within the premise of the story he plays two physical characters (Ha Su and Gwanghae) but Ha Su himself goes through so much to change that the range that Lee Byung Hun delivers believably is great. The transitions of his character are seamless.

The story moves quickly and is enjoyable from the start, you get to literally see things that you would never expect in a historical drama but maybe like me have always wondered. There's a human aspect to this story that doesn't come across as well in other historical dramas I find because the king is a man who is from the palace. In Gwanghae, it's the opposite as the position of king is given to someone who is absolutely not from the palace.

I didn't particularly notice the music >< (my bad!) I would definitely rewatch this movie but not right away cause dear god I have way too much to actually watch (and right now I'm going to rewatch Coffee Prince ^.^)

But overall, love Gwanghae...if you're looking for a good historical WITH AMAZING acting, watch Gwanghae. It didn't just win big at award shows for nothing :)

P.S. (the other actors in this film do really well too even though I just mentioned Lee Byung Hun cause he blew me away. In particular I really liked the Eunuch :))
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15 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Feb 22, 2013
  • Overall 10
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 9.0
  • Rewatch Value 10
The story was great. It had little of everything. Don't really want to spoil or over rate it, but it left me with very special feelings.
The acting was submerging. Their acting really made me immerse into the mood of the scene. And the main character played two characters very well.
Music was good. There was one particular theme that stood out because it felt unique to this movie, but I feel read more like the soundtrack fit in pretty well.
About rewatch value... don't even ask. I know I'll be watching it second time this week again for sure.

This was one of the rare movies that I was fully satisfied with at the end in a long while. If you like historical theme with a tiny pinch of humor, watch it. Watch it now. Heck, I even got tear jerked around few times while watching it.

Why are you still reading? Go away and watch it!
You may find it here:

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Make a Recommendation More recs (6)Recommendations

-both are historical themed movies
-both have common genres
- a lot of funny scenes involving a swindler
+a little love story
Recommended by MilaKim
Daerib Forces is a movie that explores Gwanghae's rise to power during the Imjin War, while the movie Masquerade is a glimpse on the life of Gwanghae as a king, years after the Imjin War.
Recommended by hongberg

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Comments (13)

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  • Reply
    namopanik 10 days ago

    The Moon in the sky is the face of my dearest
    Who cut my dearest's head and hung it up there?

    What a surprisingly Christopher Carrion-esque tidbit.

  • Reply
    Queen_Makjang Aug 31, 2016

    Visual masterpiece.

  • Reply
    Fortuna Aug 15, 2016

    Enjoyable movie. First time I saw Lee Byung Hun. He was great.

  • Reply
    zahra May 21, 2016

    Great movie ❤ ❤ ❤

  • Reply
    Syranus Mar 8, 2016 - edited

    OMG! It has been so long since I last enjoyed a historical movie; since War of the Arrows. This one has convinced me that there might still be great historical movies out there waiting for me to notice. I just have to dig deeper. Great acting, great story, really interesting plot. Well, what do you expect from Lee Byung Hun? He has starred in many amazing American movies including G.I. Joe, Red 2 and Terminator Genisys.

  • Reply
    JustynaP Feb 20, 2016

    Amazing movie! I must admit Lee Byun Hun is a great actor. And the soundtrack is just beautiful... what can i say more? i just love historical films.

  • Reply
    BB26 Oct 20, 2015

    Hadn't watched such a good movie in a while!! Loved it!
    I laughed my ass off and also cried a lot... Best combi ever.....

  • Reply
    supalove Jul 26, 2015 - edited

    I like never watch historical things or saeguks but I had to see this one for LBH and I gotta say not only did his performance kill it (as per us) but the film itself was just pure excellence! I could actually follow the storyline and all the characters and it was really interesting to see everything play out especially since this movie is based on true events. I also just wanna say that it was surprisingly VERY funny-I found myself laughing through a couple of the scenes! At the same time it also warrants a few tears along the way. All in all it was just a great enjoyable film that was produced very well! (I'd give it 9.8 stars if I could but I'll have settle for 9.5)

  • Reply
    Guitargeekette Jul 19, 2015

    Great movie.

    Everyone did a great job on this one

  • Reply
    Zemodip Jan 29, 2015

    very very nice.perfect.

  • Reply
    Meena_Drama_Fan Oct 3, 2014

    hilarious, hilarious , hilarious , Lee Byung Hun was excellent :)

  • Reply
    Meena_Drama_Fan Oct 3, 2014

    man too much, feb 28th 1616 century only iron scissors are used, how come a plastic handle scissors were available, ? tooooo much

  • Reply
    nana Aug 10, 2014

    a wonderful movie, there's a reason why it sold out well

  • Reply
    Kizzofdeath Apr 19, 2014

    it was a nice movie.... thumbs up to Lee Byung Hun great actor ever...

  • Reply
    GreenTea Feb 5, 2014

    Wow, I found it! This was one of the many movies they played on a really long flight I had, and even though I realllly wanted to sleep, there was this one hilarious scene where I finally gave up and said, okay, what on earth is going on here? And put in my earphones to watch the rest. It's good! Well worth watching! :)


  • Country:

    South Korea
  • Type:

  • Release Date:

    Sep 13, 2012
  • Duration:

    2 hr. 11 min.


  • Score:

    8.5 (scored by 1,565 users)
  • Ranked:

  • Popularity:


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