7.5/10
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28 user 32 critic

Wang-ui namja (2005)

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2:17 | Trailer
Two clowns living in Korea's Chosun Dynasty get arrested for staging a play that satirizes the king. They are dragged to the palace and threatened with execution but are given a chance to save their lives if they can make the king laugh.

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2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Jang-sang
...
King Yeonsan
Seong-Yeon Kang ...
Nok-su Jang (as Sung-Yeon Kang)
...
Gong-gil (as Jun-ki Lee)
Hang-Seon Jang ...
Cheo-sun
...
Yuk-gab
Seok-yong Jeong ...
Chil-duk
Seung-hun Lee ...
Pal-bok
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Storyline

Soul mate minstrels Jang-sang and Gong-gil eke out a living in 14th century Korea through bawdy stories presented in a tightrope act; however, sexual interests of the rich over Gong-gil's androgynous looks impair their basic desire to entertain once too often. A line is crossed, an authority figure dies, and the pair must flee to Seoul. They soon take up with a trio of fellow minstrels and, lead by Jang-sang, present riskier shows that prove more lucrative; but, a scathing exhibition satirizing the king and his concubine puts them under arrest with a set date for execution. Forced to present themselves to the king for final judgment, they surprisingly wind up becoming his court performers, but the tyrannical king, though sensitive and intelligent, is also excessive and psychologically scarred, with the minstrel shows putting him uncomfortably in touch with buried issues over his dead mother (long ago forced to commit suicide by the court). This makes him dangerously unstable. The ... Written by statmanjeff

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Forbidden desire, sumptuous tragedy

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

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Details

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Release Date:

29 December 2005 (South Korea)  »

Also Known As:

The King and the Clown  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 2006, this film became the highest grossing Korean film to its date selling over 12 million tickets (with a total gross of over US$70 million) and surpassing the previous record holder, Taegukgi (2004). Its box office record was broken later in the year by Gwoemul (2006). See more »

Goofs

In the on-screen translation, opening titles call out Korea's 500-years-plus Chosun Dynasty as being unmatched in the annals of "word" history, rather than "world" history. See more »

Quotes

Jang-sang: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ahhh ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
[From subtitles]
Jang-sang: You have the wrong man. I wrote it. He's innocent. The audacity of it has my signature all over it. After all, it was by audacity that I got in the palace.
Nok-su Jang: You're making this up!
Jang-sang: Well, well.
[Stands up defiantly in front of the King and Nok-su]
Jang-sang: A whore and her tongue's work is never done.
Nok-su Jang: How DARE you!
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Quiet an Amazing movie that straddles different genres
12 July 2011 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

It is difficult to compartmentalize "The King and the Clown". It is part drama, part comedy, part forbidden love story and part artistic freedom struggle all combined into a wonderful period movie. One of the best things I liked about this movie is that all the characters are shades of gray. Whether it is the King or the clown, you find yourself agreeing with them at one point and rooting against them at the next.

It starts at a very light note and becomes dramatic towards the end. But it never becomes preachy or soapy. There are no explicit messages here. This film has a homosexual angle so I was surprised to read that it was a big hit in Korea. I guess a good movie can triumph against all odds. A must-see for all cinephiles.


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