Watch Masquerade

"15 days lost to history."
  • NR
  • 2012
  • 2 hr 12 min
  • 7.8  (7,377)

Masquerade is a South Korean historical drama film that takes viewers back to the late 16th century, during the Joseon dynasty. The movie follows the story of King Gwanghae's double, a court jester named Ha-sun, who is brought in to impersonate the king during a crisis. Lee Byung-hun plays the dual role of King Gwanghae and Ha-sun, while Seung-ryong Ryu plays Heo Gyun, a minister of the court, and Han Hyo-joo is Queen Consort Jo.

The movie opens with the introduction of King Gwanghae, a leader who has lost the support of his people due to his tyrannical ways. The king is repeatedly targeted by assassination attempts from his own courtiers, and he becomes increasingly paranoid and mistrustful of those around him.

In order to protect the king, Heo Gyun proposes a daring plan. He suggests that the king should appoint a double, who can stand in for him during public appearances and events, thereby keeping him safe from potential assassins. Disguised as the king, the double would be able to travel unnoticed, and the real king could continue to rule from behind the scenes.

To everyone's surprise, the king agrees to this plan. Ha-sun, a lowly jester who bears a striking resemblance to the king, is chosen to play the role of the double. With the help of Heo Gyun, Queen Consort Jo, and a few other trusted courtiers, Ha-sun undergoes rigorous training to prepare for his new role.

As Ha-sun gets used to the lavish lifestyle of the king, he starts to see the world from a new perspective. He begins to empathize with the plight of his people, whom the king has neglected for years. Inspired by his newfound knowledge, Ha-sun starts to make changes in the king's name - changes that quickly win over the hearts of the people.

Things seem to be going well for Ha-sun, who revels in the joy of being able to do good for once in his life. However, as his popularity grows, he also attracts the attention of those who wish to see the king fall. Assassins are sent after Ha-sun, and he must fight to keep himself and the people he loves safe.

Masquerade offers an impressive look into the political and social themes of the Joseon dynasty, while also weaving a story of self-discovery and sacrifice. It delves into the concept of people in power losing sight of their duties as servants of the people, and highlights the importance of being empathetic and compassionate towards fellow human beings.

Lee Byung-hun does an excellent job in portraying both the cruel and paranoid king, as well as the naive and good-natured clown who becomes his double. His range as an actor shines through in his ability to convey two completely different personas, each with its own nuances and quirks.

Seung-ryong Ryu's portrayal of Heo Gyun is also notable for his intense and stoic presence on screen. Han Hyo-joo, in the role of Queen Consort Jo, brings a sense of poise and grace to the movie, creating a character who is both regal and sympathetic.

The cinematography in the movie is stunning, as it transports viewers back in time to the Joseon dynasty. The costumes and sets are also well done, adding to the authenticity and immersive quality of the movie.

Overall, Masquerade is a compelling and thought-provoking movie that successfully blends historical drama with personal growth and discovery. Its themes, characters, and setting offer a unique look into a pivotal period in Korean history, while also providing a universal message about the importance of empathy and kindness in leadership.

Masquerade is a 2012 drama with a runtime of 2 hours and 12 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.8.

Where to Watch Masquerade
Masquerade is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV Channels, Apple TV and Amazon. Some platforms allow you to rent Masquerade for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 12 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.8  (7,377)