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.
In the summer of 1969, Colonel Kim Jin Pyeong returns to South Korea after serving in Vietnam. He is suffering from post-traumatic disorder and trapped in a loveless marriage with Soo Jin, ... See full summary »
Jun-young (Kam Woo-seong) is a man in his early thirties who has seen his friends and younger brother get married but has yet to open himself to a serious relationship. Rather he is happy ... See full summary »
Lee Jeok-yo is a 70ish year old man who is a respected poet. He cares fondly for his 30ish year old disciple Seo Ji-woo. The world of these two men are shaken when 17-year-old high school ... See full summary »
The King (Joo Jin-mo) of Goryeo is married to a Yuan Dynasty princess (Song Ji-hyo), but they do not have any children. There is constant pressure on the king both from the Yuan emperor and his own counselors to produce a crown prince and ensure the continuity of the royal dynasty. The king's palace guard is composed of thirty six young soldiers, led by military commander Hong-rim (Jo In-sung), who is also the king's lover. The king finally decides to charge him with a strange commission: copulate the queen and beget a child. Hong-rim and the queen are uncomfortable accepting the royal order first, but they finally comply. However, their relationship does not stop at procreation, but genuinely true and intense romance soon blossoms between the two, and in this strong and close intimate relationship there is no place for the king.Written by
[He kneels on the ground, behind the king who is standing]
Your Majesty. I deserve to die. I was blinded by foolish desires and betrayed and humiliated you.
[He put a special sword in front of himself on the ground, crying]
This is the very sword you granted me. Please take my life with it. I shall seek your forgiveness in death.
[the king turns back and looks at him]
You've given away something more precious than life. What good would it do to take your life, now?
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I didn't think that a film about a homosexual king persuading his lover to sleep with the Queen to produce an heir would be very exciting. But as so often happens, it was. I've watched this twice now, and appreciated the film a lot more the second time around.
The lead characters are well drawn, the dialog is interesting, the acting is excellent - heck, I even liked the music. There's not an over-abundance of battle and fight scenes, but what scenes there were were well -staged, and I thought the final scenes were as good as anything I've seen.
And, of course, there's sex - lots of bare-bottomed bare-breasted, tongue in tongue, man on man, man on woman sex. But none of it descends into sleaziness and perhaps because Ji-hyo Song is such a beautiful woman (and, dare I say it, In-seong Jo is such a beautiful man) the scenes don't become tedious as they do in so many other other movies. The scenes are completely integral to the movie. Funnily enough, I've always thought of the French as being the only ones capable pf handling sex in cinema properly. The Germans and Spanish and Australians always tend towards crudity, the Americans invariably imbue their sex scenes with their childish puritanism, and sex in Asian cinema can be downright ludicrous. But having said that, the most erotic and interesting sex scenes I've seen have all been in Asian movies - "Samsara", "Erotic Ghost Story", "A Frozen Flower".
I really like this film - it gets a 9/10 from me.
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