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GOLDEN DRAGON YIN-YANG

Masquerade (2012)

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Hey GD Y-Y....this was the big Korean period blockbuster of 2012, and deservedly so. Starring Lee Byung-hun in his first period movie (which was a big deal in itself), he takes on dual roles of being both the paranoid Emperor, and the commoner who is hired to impersonate him when he falls ill.

It's essentially a retelling of 'The Prince and the Pauper', but transferred to the Joseon Dynasty era in the form of a comedy drama. Thankfully both the drama and the comedy is balanced perfectly, with Byung-hun's scenes as the commoner attempting to pass himself off as the Emperor inducing several hearty laughs from the situations he finds himself in.

He does a stellar job of playing the 2 roles, effectively coming off as cold and detached as the Emperor, while being equally convincing as the naive and warm hearted commoner. Backed up by the likes of Ryoo Seung-ryong (the bad guy from one of your favorites - 'War of the Arrows') and Han Hyo-joo, there's plenty of acting talent on display.

It's also worth pointing out the production values in this one, as they're simply stunning. I don't think I've seen a period Korean movie which looks as good as this, with the sets, costumes, and design all coming together to create a stunning non-CGI assisted Korea of old.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

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Hey GD Y-Y....this was the big Korean period blockbuster of 2012, and deservedly so. Starring Lee Byung-hun in his first period movie (which was a big deal in itself), he takes on dual roles of being both the paranoid Emperor, and the commoner who is hired to impersonate him when he falls ill.

It's essentially a retelling of 'The Prince and the Pauper', but transferred to the Joseon Dynasty era in the form of a comedy drama. Thankfully both the drama and the comedy is balanced perfectly, with Byung-hun's scenes as the commoner attempting to pass himself off as the Emperor inducing several hearty laughs from the situations he finds himself in.

He does a stellar job of playing the 2 roles, effectively coming off as cold and detached as the Emperor, while being equally convincing as the naive and warm hearted commoner. Backed up by the likes of Ryoo Seung-ryong (the bad guy from one of your favorites - 'War of the Arrows') and Han Hyo-joo, there's plenty of acting talent on display.

Started it but stopped.

Will get back to you.

Thanks for the heads up.

:wink:

GD Y-Y

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Masquerade (2012)

Masquerade is a South Korean film starring Lee Byung-Hun. You may know him from his role as the ultimate killer for hire Han Cho Bai in RED 2. This is one of Lee's first forays into period drama and he plays the dual role of as King Gwanghae and a street performer Clown Ha-Sun. The hook of the film is that since everything is written down in great detail regarding the King but there are 15 days that are missing from the record...

The Premise of the film is that the paranoid King Gwanghae is constantly in fear of someone attempting to kill him by poisoning. Although the King has an elaborate set of rules and safeguards in place to prevent this he sends out his head counselor Heo Gyun (Ryoo Seung-Ryong) to find a double to replace him in case anything should happen to him. Ha-Sun is found performing shows in a brothel imitating the king.

Not long after Ha-Sun in taken back to the palace the king is indeed poisoned and Heo has to give Ha-Sun a quick course on not only how to imitate the King convincingly, but to also understand what it is to be king.

This movie is truly epic. That is a very over used word when describing films now, but this film truly deserves that term and has something for almost everyone. (Rotten Tomatoes gave it 100% Fresh rating). The film is set in the Joseon Period. There are many sub plots which play out dealing with political intrigue, treason, and political aspirations, love, loyalty, and the workings of how the ruling class and the commoners interact.

As an actor Lee is able to have you clearly feel the differences in the two men ranging from the stern and imposing king to the comedic and humble street performer who slowly learns the true ramifications and responsibilities of being a ruler.

The film is 2 hours and 11 minutes but it did not seem to drag. There was enough of a mix of comedy, drama, political maneuvering and the beautiful vibrant visuals to keep the viewer focused. The costumes are beautiful and the supporting actors roles are fleshed out enough to have you care about them.There are some funny parts that give you way to much information about to specific workings of the time period (If I called it potty humor I wouldn't be lying!! :laugh ). I am not trying to be vague to avoid spoilers, there is just literally so much packed into this movie that it is easier for you to just watch the movie!! :rofl .The movie did very well in the Korean box office when it was released being one of the 3rd highest grossing films of that year, now settling at 6th currently.

Both Lee and Ryoo give strong performances along with the supporting cast. Whether you are a fan of Lee Byung-Hun, love period pieces, love stories, or political intrigue, this film has something for you. There are no martial arts so that may be a turn of to some. But this is a film that I have watched over again as you are able to pick up more of the nuances upon each viewing as there is so much to take in.

I rate this movie a 5 out of 5 Here is the official trailer and below is more specific information on the film through the link below.

You can buy/rent this film through iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, and Youtube pay service.

http://asianwiki.com/Masquerade_-_Korean_Movie

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