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Masquerade (2012)
"Gwanghae, Wangyidoen namja" (original title)

7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 2,807 users  
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Amid national chaos and fear for his life, tyrannical King Gwanghae orders his trusted councilor Heo Kyun to find a royal body double. He hires Ha-seon, a peasant mimic who bears a perfect ... See full summary »

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Title: Masquerade (2012)

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Ha-seon / King Gwang-hae
...
Heo Gyun (as Ryu Seung-Ryong)
Hyo-ju Han ...
Queen
In-kwon Kim ...
Do
Gwang Jang ...
Eunuch
...
Sa-wol
Myung-gon Kim ...
Park Choong-seo
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yong-gu Do ...
Minister of National Defense
Lee El ...
Ahn Gae-Shi
Soo-ho Ha ...
General Jung Jeon
Sung-Yong Han ...
Public Officer Who Escorts Ha-Sun
Bae-Su Jeon ...
Minister of Justice
Sung-hee Jo ...
Prince Gwanghae's Public Officer 2
Kim Jong-Goo ...
King Gwanghae's Physician
Young-Ho Joo ...
Public Officer 1 Who Escorts King Gwanghae
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Storyline

Amid national chaos and fear for his life, tyrannical King Gwanghae 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. K Written by CJ Entertainment

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The kingdom in the hand of a layman for 15 days. See more »

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 September 2012 (South Korea)  »

Also Known As:

Masquerade  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$1,839 (USA) (7 December 2012)

Gross:

$898,826 (USA) (7 December 2012)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The idea for Masquerade developed from the true story of missing records totalling 15 days from the Annals of the Joseon Dynasty. Knowing that the king was kind, but paranoid, the staff constructed this idea as something that could have happened during that undocumented time. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Charming take on an old theme
11 April 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

As has been pointed out by other reviewers, this story is a new spin on "The Prince and the Pauper." It actually reminded me, however, of the American movie "Dave," in that the protagonist is a naive pawn whose empathy allows him to rise to the occasion, including finding love in the chaos.

Byung-hun Lee is simply an amazing actor. Having seen his "dark" side in movies like "A Bittersweet Life" and "I Saw the Devil," I was very pleased to see he could handle the role of Ha-Seon with such a light touch. It was a joy to see him effortlessly shift from hilarious toilet humor to inspiring leader. I was particularly struck with the scenes where he interacted with commoners, in which I really felt the empathy Ha-Seon felt for them.

This is the first of director Chang-min Choo's movies I've seen, and I was impressed at how he was able to seamlessly balance the light and serious scenes in the movies. To often, one or the other seems forced, but here Choo creates a character who grows and changes, but still remains, at heart, the same, good person he was at the beginning -- the kind of person who, by the end of the story, could be happy and believable as a king or a pauper. I think Choo also gave the movie a more intimate feel by focusing on one-on-one conversations and limiting the normal "cast of thousands" you often see in period pieces about kings.

Overall, the acting was top notch -- particularly from Hyo-ju Han as the Queen and Hyo-ju Han as Minister Do -- and the costumes and set design were beautiful.

Masquerade is an engaging and charming period piece with humor, action, and romance.


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