Masquerade

mas_webposter Showtimes

During the 17th century, Korea’s most notorious ruler, King Gwang-hae, left behind a troubled legacy clouded by paranoia after constant threats of assassination and political rebellion. Surviving accounts of his sixteen year reign have revealed there is a missing fifteen days where Gwang-hae’s whereabouts cannot be accounted for. Shortly after reappearing from his mysterious sabbatical, the King’s attitude and demeanor drastically changed for the better. What brought on this monumental change? The new historical epic Masquerade entertainingly speculates as to what may have happened during the notorious ruler’s lost days. South Korean superstar Lee Byung-hun (A Bittersweet Life) plays dual leads as both the tragic King Gwang-hae and Ha-Seon, an innocent commoner who shares a fatefully remarkable resemblance to the King. Deeply embroiled in palace intrigue which aims to assassinate the ruler, King Gwang-Hae orders his trusted counselor Heo Kyun to find him a body double. When the King’s life is threatened, Ha-seon must carry off the biggest masquerade of his life in order to save the country from chaos while also under imminent threat of death. Loosely applying the story of Mark Twain’s Prince and the Pauper to a fictional biography of one of Korea’s most infamous Kings, Masquerade is a smart, thrilling and lavishly mounted spectacle. (Dir. by Chang-min Choo, 2012, South Korea, in Korean with subtitles, 131 mins., Not Rated, CJ Entertainment) Digital