King Gwanghae (Lee Byung-hun) is a strong and forthright ruler in Joseon Dynasty Korea. Fearing an assassination attempt on his life, he instructs his secretary of defence Heo Gyun (Ryoo Seung-ryong) to find someone who looks enough like him to take his place at public engagements. The doppelganger found is a lowly acrobat, Ha-seon (also played by Lee Byung-hun), who knows nothing of etiquette, royal life or indeed how to impersonate a monarch but when Gwanghae is indeed poisoned, Ha-seon is pushed into taking his place as a figurehead 24/7 while the king recovers, nonetheless. However, as he begins to play a part in official proceedings, Ha-seon’s caring nature as a ruler begins to shine bringing questions from the royal court and causing the queen to question which king she truly loves. With Lee Byung-hun being one of the most popular male Korean actors, it is easy to see why became one of the highest grossing Korean movies of all time.

By Paul Quinn

Film info
2012. Directed by Choo Chang-min, starring Lee Byung-hun, Ryoo Seung-ryong, Han Hyo-joo, 131 mins.

Odeon Panton Street, 08 Nov 15 1:00 pm

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