Masquerade is set during the confusing and conspiratorial Joseon Dynasty King Gwang-hae orders his councilor, HEO Kyun, to find him a double in order to avoid the constant threat of assassination. HEO Kyun finds Ha-sun, a jester who looks remarkably like the king, and just as feared, Gwang-hae is poisoned. HEO Kyun proposes Ha-sun fill the role as the king until Gwang-hae recovers fully and grooms Ha-sun to look and act every bit the king.
While assuming the role of the king at his first official appearance, Ha-sun begins to ponder the intricacies of the problems debated in his court. Being fundamentally more humanitarian than Gwang-hae, Ha-sun’s affection and appreciation of even the most minor servants slowly changes morale in the castle for the better. However, his chief opposition, PARK, notices the sudden shift in the king’s behavior and starts to ask questions.
- Movie: Masquerade (English title) / Ghwanghae, Man Became A King (literal title)
- Revised romanization: Gwanghae, Wangyidoen Namja
- Hangul: 광해, 왕이 된 남자
- Director: Choo Chang-Min
- Writer: Hwang Jo-Yoon
- Producer: Jung Ji-Hoon, Kim Bo-Yeon
- Cinematographer: Lee Tae-Yoon
- Release Date: September 13, 2012
- Runtime: 131 min.
- Genre: Period-17th Century / Drama / Best Film-Movie of the Year
King Gwanghae (Lee Byung-Hun) has been the King for the past 8 years. He now suspects that someone within the royal court is attempting to poison him. In response, King Gwanghae orders his councilor Heo Gyun (Ryoo Seung-Ryong) to find someone that looks like him to sit in his throne.
Heo Gyun then comes across a clown named Ha-Sun (Lee Byung-Hun), who performs lewd shows in front of drunken noblemen. Ha-Sun indeed strongly resembles King Gwanghae and is even able to imitate the way King Gwanghae speaks. Heo Gyun takes Ha-Sun to the royal palace without giving any explanations. At night, Ha-Sun takes the King’s seat, while the King slips away to his mistress’s home.
A short time later, King Gwanghae collapses and is taken to a safe house. Meanwhile, Ha-Sun continues his ruse as the King until the King can recover. Slowly, Ha-Sun’s own personality comes out and the people in the King’s inner court notice the changes. The King appears more humane to those around him and far less volatile. While Ha-Sun’s true voice comes out, enemies within the King’s inner circle plan their next move.
- The Masquerade King Torrent Files retells Mark Twain’s “The Prince & The Pauper” set in Joseon era South Korea.