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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This film was selected as the official Korean entry for the Best Foreign Language Film award at the 79th Academy Awards. The runners-up were Kim Ki-duk's Time, and the horror comedy The Host. See more »
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 »
Isn't she the King's Consort?
Sure is. What on earth is that woman doing?
People say, she a lady now but she still shits like a horse. So then the rumors were true after all!
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King Young San was perhaps the most infamous tyrant in Korean history (or perhaps the most well known). He showed sociopath tendencies even as a child(hurting animals and such)but what drove him over the age and started his tyrannical reign was his discovery of the circumstances under his mother died.
His mother Yoon, was the King's favorite concubine. She was falsely accused of plotting to kill her rivals and ordered to drink poison by the king. The circumstances of her death were kept a secret until King Young San found out by accident. Upon his discovery, he was seized with sorrow and rage, and put to death or exiled anyone who was responsible of his mother's death. Even those those who didn't strongly oppose her execution were put to death.
Although he is portrayed as a terrible dictator, his love for his mother and the terrible pain her death caused adds an extra dimension to his tyrannical reign.
It is interesting to note (according to the movie) his bringing the clowns into the palace and having them perform those skits was what drove his ministers into a rebellion.
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