Sunday, August 03, 2008

The King and the Clown

The King and the Clown (왕의 남자) is a pretty long Korean movie of the historical genre during Korea's Joseon dynasty, lasting about two hours, if not a little more. It stars Lee Jun Ki (of My Girl), Gam Woo Seong, Jeong Jin Yeong, and Kang Seong Yeon. It was pretty controversial because it touches on the subject of homosexuality. In short, the movie is basically about an effeminate traveling clown played by Lee Jun Ki who catches the King's attention. Of course, there's not only that. A little more elaborated, the plot begins with the effeminate clown (Gong Gil) and his guardian/protector and fellow clown (Jang Saeng). In the traveling troupe they were in, Gong Gil was used as a way to get more earnings by selling his body but Jang Saeng was against it. When they run away, Gong Gil ends up killing the leader of the troupe and the pair make a run for it towards the capital in dreams of being successful. There, they meet a group of clowns that worked there and together, they make up an act that essentially satirizes the King and his favorite concubine. Eventually, they're pulled before the King and a deal is made: if the King laughs, their lives are spared. Well, the King ends up laughing and that's when everything begins.

The acting was superb - and Jun Ki makes a pretty good female. It wasn't graphic but many things were implied. There were some things that were puzzling, but it may just be the time period and the differing sense of humor or something, but there were things I didn't get right away (very frustrating). The unofficial fansite has a number of pages to the historical background and other interesting facts about the movie. I believe the end of the movie could be a little more clear as to what happened to the pair, but then again, the somewhat open-ended conclusion makes it good.

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