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

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, History  |  13 September 2012 (South Korea)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.9/10 from 3,313 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 32 critic

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 »



(screenplay), (screenplay)
0Check in

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Amazon Video

16 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

About Nae-kyung who is able to assess the personality, mental state and habits of a person by looking at his face. Because of his abilities, he gets involved in a power struggle between Prince Sooyang and Kim Jong-Seo.

Director: Jae-rim Han
Stars: Kang-ho Song, Jung-jae Lee, Yun-shik Baek
Drama | History | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

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.

Director: Joon-ik Lee
Stars: Woo-seong Kam, Jin-yeong Jeong, Seong-Yeon Kang
The Thieves (2012)
Action | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In order to let things cool down from their latest heist, Popeye and his group of thieves go to Macau on a job. But the mastermind behind this job is none other than Popeye's old partner ... See full summary »

Director: Dong-hoon Choi
Stars: Yun-seok Kim, Jung-jae Lee, Hye-su Kim
The Attorney (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An ambitious tax attorney decides to represent an old friend in court.

Director: Woo-seok Yang
Stars: Kwang Soo Cha, Seon-Mook Cho, Ki-Jung Han
Sunny (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

New high-school transfer student Na-Mi comes from a small town in Jeolla Province to her new school in the capital city of Seoul. When she is nervous, her small town dialect comes out & she... See full summary »

Director: Hyeong-Cheol Kang
Stars: Ho-jeong Yu, Eun-kyung Shim, Hee-kyung Jin
New World (2013)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Story about a conflict between the police and the mob through the eyes of an undercover cop.

Director: Hoon-jung Park
Stars: Jung-jae Lee, Min-sik Choi, Jeong-min Hwang
Action | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Set during the second Manchu invasion of Korea, Nam Yi, the best archer in Korea, goes up against the Qing Dynasty to save his younger sister Ja In - who was dragged away by Manchurian.

Director: Han-min Kim
Stars: Hae-il Park, Seung-ryong Ryu, Mu-Yeol Kim
Always (2011)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A love story centered on ex-boxer Chul-min and a blind telemarketer Jung-hwa.

Director: Il-gon Song
Stars: Ji-seob So, Hyo-ju Han, Shin-il Kang
Silenced (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Gang In-ho, who is working to earn money for his daughter's surgery, is appointed to a school for hearing-impaired children in Gwangju. But what he discovers there is an ugly truth: the ... See full summary »

Director: Dong-hyuk Hwang
Stars: Yoo Gong, Yu-mi Jeong, Hyeon-soo Kim
The Admiral (2014)
Adventure | Biography | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

At the strait 'Roaring Currents', master strategist Admiral Yi and his 12 battleships oppose enemy's fleet of 330, and win the most incredible victory of history.

Director: Han-min Kim
Stars: Min-sik Choi, Seung-ryong Ryu, Jin-woong Jo
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Things go wrong for a high ranking mobster when he doesn't proceed by his boss's orders.

Director: Jee-woon Kim
Stars: Jeong-min Hwang, Yu-mi Jeong, Ku Jin
Cold Eyes (2013)
Action | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A high-tech police surveillance team attempts to take down a gang of ruthless bank robbers.

Directors: Ui-seok Jo, Byung-seo Kim
Stars: Hyo-ju Han, Kyung Jin, Woo-sung Jung


Credited cast:
Ha-seon / King Gwang-hae
Heo Gyun (as Ryu Seung-Ryong)
Gwang Jang ...
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


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


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


Drama | History


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

13 September 2012 (South Korea)  »

Also Known As:

Masquerade  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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


$898,826 (USA) (7 December 2012)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Woo-Suk Kang was originally set to direct, but due to trouble in production's development, Kang dropped out of project and Chang-min Choo on board to helm this film instead. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A solid Korean period drama!
23 September 2013 | by (Cairo, Egypt) – See all my reviews

Last year's South Korean box office champion (a No. 3 all-time grossing picture in the history of Korean cinema), this period drama stars Byung-hun Lee for a meaty dual role, the king and his doppelgänger scoundrel, intricately chronicles a spell of 15 days' clandestine regency under the helm of the said doppelgänger.

A grandeur of a period drama pivots heavily on its art design, set decoration, makeup and costumes whether or not can conjure a believable world of that time, as a result MASQUERADE is impeccable in all these aspects. Despite basically it is an interior chamber piece, a few outdoor shots meticulously dispense us legitimate solemnity and natural quaintness.

The outline of the story is quite straightforward, and all the ramifications are predictable, the transformation from a good-to-nothing to a righteous and gallant role model is the unflagging keynote, director Chang-min Choo interposes effectual gags in-between the brooding atmosphere, first time we saw a king breaks wind on screen and his eye-opening defecation formalities, which is gross at first glance, but the comical reaction is pure golden! (Hollywood should learn how to turn repellent vulgarity into some genuine laughter from it).

Finally Lee scoops up his representative work on big screen which could testify his talent beyond the awful exploitation of his taciturn Asian fighter figure in Hollywood action potboilers. Acting with his mother tongue, the constant changeover of manners and tones is a demanding task, he successfully nail both the imperial majesty and the antic street-smartness. What is more touching is among the set pieces where the expendable side characters face their doom, Lee's reactive performances are wonderfully empathetic, effectively efface the cliché and sappy default of a thin plot. Seung-yong Ryoo (the helping hand), Hyo-ju Han (the queen) and Gwang Jang (the eunuch) all offer a bit subtler presence pertains to their different functions.

There is an elephant in the room since everyone knows the impostor cannot be spared at any rate, so the film cunningly contrives a twist to lift the culmination which we cannot say is a mind-blowing one, at least it is a tenable one. Overall, the film is slightly over-stretching its sentimentality but nevertheless stands for a universal crowd-pleaser and a top-notcher of South Korean film industry.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Ads and reviews keep comparing this to 'The Prince and the Pauper' adamantius
Kagemusha isis-13
it was ok drgnndblls88
Discuss Masquerade (2012) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: