January 6, 2015
A complete masterpiece. Well cast and executed with exceptional cinematography. I love the concept of a double for the king, and moreover what he does with the power he assumes being the King's double. What a great film. I enjoyed it as a drama in every possible way. I could see myself watching it again one day.
September 9, 2014
Hokey of course, but damn good.
July 18, 2014
Nice - well directed movie
July 10, 2014
A bit of a Pauper and the King story, but also featuring an impressive performance from Lee Byung Hyun in a double role. Lavish costume design, with some moments of over drama and I don't know about the historical accuracy, but otherwise a pretty competent film.
June 21, 2014
Good performances, filming and delightful.
April 17, 2014
Found this by chance at the library...once of the best movies I have ever watched. I was in TEARS more than once due to the story line and the acting. The costumes and lighting are sublime and doesn't bow to modern niceties like an American 'historical' drama would.
February 22, 2014
Just finished watching this truly magnificent 17th century Joseon dynasty period drama and can see why it deserves all the accolades particularly for Byung-hun Lee's dual performance as both the real and imposter king. Beautiful set design, cinematography and music help set the tone of this engrossing film. See this on blu-ray if you can since the region 3 dvd tends to have a darker contrast which tend to obligerate the details of the sets and costume design.
October 19, 2013
Watch it in original language with subtitles
September 30, 2013
One of the best historical master piece presented by korean cinema.
September 23, 2013
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 cliche 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.
September 19, 2013
A nice twist on an old story. Thoroughly beautiful and engaging.
June 12, 2013
From a common man to a throne of a king told a magnificent story of leadership that inspires us all. The story is packed with politics, romance, and comedy through which the film not only maintains its Korean identity but also satisfy broader audience who have not exposed to Korean films. I would recommend that all leaders watch this film and maybe we will have better politicians and rulers. Down-to-earth is a regal quality, indeed.
September 12, 2013
Magnificent South Korean historical film, Byung-hun Lee is amazing in both roles
August 9, 2013
Simply the best korean movie i ever watch!!!
August 6, 2013
Missing pages in Korean history are fictionally and factually filled in through this tragic comedy of deception and justice.
August 3, 2013
Best korean history-drama, super class acting from Lee Byung hun
August 2, 2013
Absolutely great movie. Byung-hun Lee has put out 2 of the best movies I've seen in a long time.
June 10, 2013
The main character's transition feels both authentic and real. i really enjoyed this film, with its recurring humor as well as great plot.
June 15, 2013
Beautiful, really funny and heart warming. Korean should be proud of this film. Masquerade show the korean culture with a very beautiful scenery. I watched it on blu-ray and I got stunned with the scenery they captured along the movie. This is a good example of how asian movie are developing really good especially for korean entertainment. Maybe the film is predictable but it's not matter as long they keep the tempo high. Lee Bun Hyung made a brilliant performance in this. He played as two different characters, and I can easilly realized when he played as a dumb one or when he acted as the king. Not mention the supporting actors who played well either. I don't watch a lot of korean movie. But this one simply one of the best.