The King and the Clown - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The King and the Clown Reviews

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September 12, 2016
The movie is a beautiful masterpiece to me. I watch it over and over again and every times I realized a new side of the characters. Lee Jun Ki's performance here amazed me
½ October 19, 2015
I enjoyed the sumptuous set design and costumes, but the themes of this film left me a little cold, especially the ending. I really liked the subterfuge and espionage of the king`s aide, whose efforts is able to bring about change in the royal kingdom. But the jealousies that build up for a tragedy, so the main themes seem rather weak. It has good performances, but the film is very melodramatic all the time.
½ September 6, 2013
Sometimes being too amusing can be dangerous.
May 30, 2013
Traveled me back to 15th-century Joseon. Immensely beautiful. Fantastic acting performances. Lee Jun Ki is so effective in his portrayal. Gam Wu Seong is equally superb. No doubt it became the highest grossing film of South Korea for 2005. A must-watch.
½ May 16, 2013
sooooo gay korean classic film that gives a good plot and a good environment of how korean historical drama should look like. So this is what classic clowns looks like in the Late Middle Ages/Joseon Dynasty.
April 12, 2013
Bold movie to make by the director. Moving performances. Beautiful costumes. Psychological movie in terms of the king suffering after the forced suicide of his mother. The love between the male lead and the eunich are palpable and that much more so after the king falls for the eunich as jealousy, torment and tragedy ensue.
½ April 5, 2013
not a second of boredom
½ March 9, 2013
'The King and the Clown' is well-written, and quite entertaining, historic drama. Other than its comic overtones, it deals with many interesting themes, which include love, power, affection, satire and freedom of speech. Its unique plot and characters are what hold your attention throughout the movie. It has a well-stirred mix of aesthetic and commercial values.

The three main protagonists are the core of the film; a talented jester, a tyrant king and a beautiful eunuch, who gains the affections of both. The three actors playing them are really brilliant, especially Lee Joon-ik, who plays the effeminate eunuch with such charm ad charisma, and looks more beautiful than some actual actresses (ahem).

The summary of the movie, which says "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."
- This is just the beginning of the whole story; the plot is much more than that.

The king's character is the most fascinating one:
His mother was ordered by the previous king to commit suicide by consuming poison. Her death left a lasting trauma on the future king's psyche, which played a significant role in the deformation of his character. But other than his tyrannical excesses, he was a man of great sensitivity and intelligence. And the way he connects and forms a bond with Gong-gil, through Gong's jests and plays, is quite moving.
It's forms an interesting study of human nature.

The climax scene is quite artistic and meaningful, and shows the end of a reign and beginning of love & friendship (in next life) so beautifully merged.

[Note: It's a period drama, and the homosexual themes are just implied. Some foreign viewers call it the 'Korean Brokeback Mountain', but that's an amusingly misleading nickname; the are no sex scenes or nudity. The themes have been explored in quite a subtle way because of the country's culture.]
December 7, 2012
Will have to watch this one. Not necassarily good or bad. Will see. Want to watch!
½ November 22, 2012
odd movie. i really love the cinematography though. never sure why it's so popular. and lee junki is damn gorgeous.
November 10, 2012
An absolutely great piece of story telling- should have won at the Oscars.
Acting was superb and Lee Joon Ki stole the show-
November 5, 2012
An absolutely stunning movie that grabs you from the start and doesn't let go. I was so entranced by this film and it was so emotionaly charged it brought tears to my eyes. Lee Joon-ki was amazing and I believe he's partly the reason this movie done so well, I fell in love with him from the begining to end.
October 20, 2012
One of my favourite films of all time. Beautifully written, perfectly acted and unlike anything else out there.
July 29, 2012
Surprisingly engaging melodrama, with stunning historical costumes and sets.
July 1, 2012
Overall it's an interesting story with good characters. The story goes smoothly up but doesn't make a neat and powerful ending!!
½ June 23, 2012
Not your usual historical drama, the take on the life of a comedian troupe in Chosun era is fascinating and unusual per se. Toward the ends it feels a bit elongated, but the homosexual triangle is directed with modesty, the personalities depicted interesting and that's enough to make it vastly better than a Korean Brockeback Mountain.
June 19, 2012
I've recently begun seeking out Korean films , and this one in particular is the reason for it. I laughed; I cried-- and ultimately fell in love with this gem.
½ June 17, 2012
Want to see a beautiful Korean love story? See this. "The world is but a stage. Kingly is he who struts for a while, then exits in style."
½ May 8, 2012
I really liked it. It had a very interesting plot, drama, and comedy.
½ May 4, 2012
I think this movie is really good and really funny at times. However, often many of the jokes are lost through the translation.
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