Today I’m introducing a new feature on my blog called “Spotlight.” I plan to use this category to highlight any movies, dramas, or actors/actresses that went above and beyond and deserve recognition. For my first post in this newly established section, I’ve chosen a very deserving film called The King and the Clown, which depicts a stunning, but heartbreaking narrative that will have you feeling very emotional by its end.
This film is known for having catapulted Lee Jun Ki into stardom. Though he had previously done modeling and taken up small roles, he was mostly unknown until his performance as Gong-gil became widely recognized and praised. The King and the Clown was based on the 2001 play Yi, and it quickly became the highest grossing film in South Korea at the time after its release (it currently remains South Korea’s 9th highest grossing film as of September 2016). It was also selected as South Korea’s official submission for the 2006 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
The King and the Clown is a historical drama/thriller film which tells the story of two rural male actors during the height of the 16th-century Joseon Dynasty. Gong-gil (Lee Jun Ki) is a more gentle and feminine personality, while his companion, Jang-sang (Kam Woo Sung), is much more outspoken and masculine. The pair decide to take their talents to Seoul, where they eventually join with a fellow acting troupe struggling to make ends meet. When their satirical routine, which mocks the King (Jung Jin Young) and his concubine (Kang Sung Yeon), gets them noticed and arrested, they are able to spare themselves by making the King laugh. Much to the court’s surprise, the King thoroughly enjoys the routine, and consequently decides to make the troupe his official court jesters. This new status earns them a more luxurious lifestyle than they could have ever imagined, and they enjoy the banquets and housing that this new status provides them. However, as the King’s attention and attraction for Gong-gil becomes more obvious, trouble breaks out among the troupe, and jealousy awakens in the King’s concubine and Jang-sang. As suspicion and jealousy begin to boil over, a tragic and bloody sequence of events ensues within the royal palace.
You can watch the English Subbed trailer for The King and the Clown here.
Here are a few pictures of Lee Jun Ki as the lovely Gong-gil for your viewing pleasure:
This film is so beautifully executed, and captivating from start to finish. The cast is extremely talented and each character is compelling and interesting in their own way. Lee Jun Ki not only looks majestic in this film, but his acting is absolutely breathtaking as well. The amount of conflict, sadness, and emotional turmoil he is able to demonstrate in this film is worth all the praise he received for it afterword. Jung Jin Young also does an excellent job portraying the King who is slightly manic and troubled as a result of his attraction to the young Gong-gil. This movie, though devastating, is still my favorite movie to date and the ending will leave you in awe and in tears. If you’re a fan of Lee Jun Ki, like historical films, or are just looking for a gripping and expressive film, The King and the Clown is a must watch.
My Rating: 10/10