Monday, April 4, 2011

The King and the Clown (Wang-ui namja) - 2005

I'll admit, I was hesitant to devote a couple of hours to this particular movie. The basic synopsis didn't do much for me.

Here's what it says on imdb:

"Two clowns living in the 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."

Here's what it should say:

"Two street performers flee their latest company after a botched attempt by their manager to pimp the gentler of them to an old man with a lust for boys. They find themselves in Seoul and soon join a ragtag bunch of performers eking out a living. They begin to mock the royal court, which draws legal attention.

The prime minister, who is impressed by their gall, gives them the chance to perform for his king. He manipulates the troupe to perform plays that expose the corruption and intrigue within the royal court, in a desperate bid to set his king free from the chains that those around him would place upon him. The lives of many hang in the balance, as the antics of the performers draw out conspiracies."

I realize that basically triples the length of the synopsis, but it gets much more into the meat of the story. It has little to do with the clowns saving their own necks, and much more to do with tyranny, corruption, intrigue, and basic human brokenness.

This was not a good movie, it was a great one. The actors all deserve recognition for their performances, particularly Jin-yeong Jeong who played the king.

If you like awesome stuff, you should see this movie.

If you think "awesome stuff" = Michael Bay movies, you should probably watch something else.

If you are homophobic, this probably isn't your cup of tea, or can of Budweiser, rather.

If you can't read while watching a movie, this also might not be for you.

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