Amid national chaos and fear for his life, tyrannical King Gwang Hae orders his trusted councilor Heo Kyun to find a royal body double. He hires Ha Seon, a peasant mimic who bears a perfect resemblance to the King. When King Gwanghae collapses from a mysterious poison, Ha Seon reluctantly becomes a King. He must follow his conscience to save his country from collapse, avoid assassination, and pull off the biggest masquerade in history.
(Source: CJ Entertainment)
Cast & Credits
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 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 :))
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 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: www.kr-dramas.org/2012-masquerade