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Masquerade

Masquerade

Original Title: Gwanghae: Wangyidoen Namja
Director: Choo Chang-min
South Korea | Korean
2012 | 131min. | Colour
Subtitles: Arabic and English
Format: DCP
15+
A commoner reluctantly becoming a king or head of state has been an engaging theme throughout the history of literature and theatre, and it proves no less powerful in contemporary cinema. Inspired by the mysterious two weeks of missing entries in the palace journals during King Gwang Hae’s reign in early 17thcentury South Korea, director Choo Chang Min embeds his depiction of its court with a fictional yet enthrallingly possible chain of events. During the conspiratorial Joseon Dynasty, Gwang Hae orders his councilor Heo Kyun to find him a body double in order to thwart any potential assassination attempts. Soon after his perfect look-alike, a simple jester named Ha-sun, is found, the king is poisoned and Heo Kyun asks Ha-sun to fill in for the king and take over all his duties. The difficulties and consequences of this forced metamorphosis form the dramatic heart ofMasquerade. Instead of following Gwang Hae’s rigid policies, the new king rules on far more personal and humanitarian grounds, thus risking discovery – not to mention social and military upheaval. It seems the desire to be good does not automatically serve the country’s stability. Though spiced with a subtle sense of comedy, the Masquerade raises fascinating questions about the compromises faced by any person who, willingly or unwillingly, takes the fate of a nation in his hands. With his first historical film – a smash hit at home in South Korea with more than a million admissions in its first weekend alone – Choo Chang Min delivers a richly layered story, with actor Lee Byung-hun charismatically mastering three leading personalities: Gwang Hae, the peasant mimic Ha-sun and the new emperor.

-Miryam van Lier

Director,  Choo Chang-min

Director,  Choo Chang-min

Choo Chang-min was born and raised in South Korea. He began his career as an assistant director on such films as City of the Rising Sun (1998) and The Happy Funeral Director (1999). His first short, The End of April (2000), was a festival successs. His feature debut, the hit comedy Mapado: Island of Fortunes (2005), was followed by Late Blossom (2011). Masquerade is his third feature.

Cast and Crew

Director
Choo Chang-min
Co-Production Company
Kim Bo-yeon
Cast
Lee Byung-hun, Han Hyo-joo, Ryoo Seung-ryong, Kim Myung-gon, Kim In-kwon, Shim Eun-kyung
Production Company
CJ Entertainment
Edited by
Nam Na-Young
Music
Kim Jun-sung
Producer
Yim Sang-jin, Won Dong-yeon, Kim Ho-seong, Jung Ji-hoon
Foreign Right Sales
CJ Entertainment
Screenwriter
Hwang Jo-yoon
Editor
Nam Na-young
Cinematographer
Lee Tae-yoon
Sound
Lee Seung-cheol ,Lee Seong-jin
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