25 November 2011

Movie Review: King and the Clown 왕의 남자

I saw this movie about 5 years ago just after it was shown in Taiwan from a pirated copy of a theatrical release. The most evil of evil ways to watch a film. But it did not appear on DVD for many more years and had I waited, I would have never have seen it. So I don't feel so bad.

This movie follows the tragic gay theme of Korean movies. Please review my review of the touching Bungee Jump of their Own.

This movie revolves around this character, androgynous lady-boy, Gong-gil, who along with Jang-san, are clowns. That is they go from village to village pantomiming and acting in comedic skits making fun at society. One day they were doing a skit mocking the king and were promptly arrested by the military. In Korea of the 1500s, there was a crazy king named King Yeonsan. And that's who they were mocking.

In jail, Jang-san is able to persuade someone to let them perform for the King. If they make him laugh, they can be pardoned. If they don't, they can be executed. They are so nervous in their performance that they aren't funny but shortly before being executed, they are able to execute one last skit which makes the King laugh. Of course, it also happens that the King has a major crush on Gong-gil (played by Lee Jun-ki).

Lee Jun-ki when he's not in drag

Well, I won't repeat the whole story or the ending, but I can suggest that its in the same ending-genre as Bungee Jump of their Own. And it's a true love story with all the epic tragedy -- there are tyrants, crazies, blinding, scheming concubines, etc.,. In some ways, its like the 2000 version of Chunhyangdyun minus the pansori storyteller. I have not watched this movie recently but someone mentioned that they were looking for a copy and it reminded me that I ought to write a review. This is totally a date/cuddle-up-and-watch movie. Hopefully you can find it and watch it.


  1. Why are Koreans so damn androgynous? Is it in the water or something?

  2. lol. i think its like a Altaic-language speaking ethnic group thing cause the Japanese have a similar problem sometimes. lol

  3. Not sure what Altaic means but the Chinese sure don't have that problem. lol

  4. a theoretical language family that includes Japanese, Korean, Kalmyk, and the Turkic languages.

  5. I watched a movie "Frozen Flower", it's a good movie as well. .

    BTW, I transferred from rainbowhalohalo.blogspot.com to http://yffar.blogspot.com


    Thanks :)