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Masquerade [Blu-ray]

52 customer reviews

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Masquerade

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Editorial Reviews

Political intrigue, betrayal, peril and forbidden romance play out in this lavish, critically acclaimed historical epic set in the royal palace of Korea s ancient Joseon Dynasty, when a lowly peasant is forced to masquerade as the tyrannical king, who has fallen ill.

Product Details

  • Actors: Byung-hun Lee, Seung-Ryong Ryu
  • Directors: Chang-min Choo
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: Korean
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: CJ Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 11, 2014
  • Run Time: 131 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00BZBQC7S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,976 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Tsuyoshi on March 30, 2013
Format: DVD
"Masquerade" (original title "Gwanghae, Wangyidoen namja") is a 2012 Korean historical drama that became one of the country's biggest hits of all time. Lee Byung Hun ("The Good, the Bad, the Weird" "I Saw the Devil") plays the double role of the 17th century Korean King Gwanghae of the Joseon Dynasty, who is afraid of being assassinated, and a clown named Ha-sun, who resembles the monarch. When the King is drugged and in coma, Ha-sun is secretly whisked to the court, where he is forced to live as the King.

Only a few know the truth, which must be kept from the ministers vying for power. Even the Queen (Hyo-ju Han) devoted to the King must be kept in ignorance of what had happened. Ha-sun at first bumbles through official duties as the "King," but as he comes to notice the corruption in the court, Ha-sun begins to think maybe he can change the country and life of the people.

Some understandably compare the "Prince and the Pauper" premise of the film with that of Kurosawa's "Kagemusha," but I think "Masquerade" with its comical and melodramatic episodes is closer to Ivan Reitman's 1993 satire "Dave" in terms of tone. Lee Byung Hun (perhaps better known to Western viewers as Storm Shadow of the "G.I. Joe" movies) turns it into an emotionally charged drama playing dual roles effectively. Supporting actors are also great, with Seung-yong Ryoo ("War of the Arrows") as Heo Gyun, the King's trusted politician, and In-kwon Kim as Do, fiercely loyal captain of the guards.

"Masquerade" is a beautifully-shot and well-acted historical drama with humor and genuine emotion. This is a familiar story, but the story is very well told.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By E. Lee Zimmerman TOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 12, 2013
Format: DVD
The rags-to-royalty story has been done to death. Still, every now and then, an aspiring actor or actress comes along with the right script and voila! The past is made new again. That's the case with MASQUERADE: THE KING OF FAÇADE. In fear of his life, a cowardly king must hide behind an imposter in order to have his life - not his kingdom - saved from his worst instincts; in the course of events, the lowly man-who-would-be-king proves he's a greater ruler than he of royal descent. What lifts MASQUERADE up a notch or two is the excellent production details and a winning central performance by Byung-hun Lee.

(NOTE: The following review will contain minor spoilers necessary solely for the discussion of plot and characters. If you're the kind of reader who prefers a review entirely spoiler-free, then I'd encourage you to skip down to the last three paragraphs for my final assessment. If, however, you're accepting of a few modest hints at `things to come,' then read on ...)

King Gwanghae (played with simmering restraint by Lee) has encountered a political fiasco that puts him at odds with half of his royal advisors. What's a coward to do? He orders his Chief Secretary to find a suitable imposter who can occupy the throne during the night-time hours when his palace is least protected against any assassinations. However, when the king slips into a drug-induced coma, his working class peasant of an imposter Ha-seon (played with tremendous charm by the same Lee) follows his heart and proves to his people that they mean more to him than does the sanctity of the throne.

MASQUERADE is a film lover's delight.
Read more ›
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Robert S. Cook on April 3, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
As far as I know the movie was shown at two theatres in my area (SF Bay) for a week, and then it was gone, and I've
been trolling Amazon and other sites since then attempting to buy it so that I can share it with others. Its a fun historial drama, in which an irreverant noncourt jester is forced to masquerade as the king of Joseon when the real king is nonfatally poisoned. He has humorous problems adjusting to life at court, which I don't want to give away, and problems dealing with politics, and in the end, with what will happen when his reign is ended with the return of the real king. Humor, compassion, rightous anger, political intrigue, betrayal, and a beautiful girl make a good mixture.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A. J. on August 6, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I do not regret buying this movie. The price is great to begin with. Yes, we have seen this plot before, but for some reason, the Korean directors and producers always add some unseen touches to their productions which makes them fresh and new. This is no exception. The character actors are some of the best. The lead actor was splendid and carried the Masquerade perfectly. I really enjoyed it and so far, I have not been disappointed but maybe twice in my selections and I now own over 30 wonderful dramas and comedies. Koreans are very dedicated and talented people. They work very hard under difficult conditions at times. Watching Korean productions has opened a new world to me and taught me about a culture I did not know. I also buy K-Pop music from Amazon. Their selection is greatly improved.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By RCMP on March 6, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I liked everything about it except (and this is MY failing) I could not identify who was who at the end of the story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By sumiko sugihara on July 29, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It was well made. I loved the story and the actors were superb. The background and the costumes were beautiful.
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Masquerade [Blu-ray]
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