The King and The Clown (Korean)

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This is not a gay film.

The King and the Clown has broken the Korean box-office, drawing curiosity from audience on its homosexual theme. The timing hasn't been more right, since it is still riding on the waves of the Brokeback Mountain fever. Fans of Da Chang Jin will like its period setting.

The film talks about Prince Yeonsan's despotic and cruel rule, and his peculiar relationship with his jester Gong-gil. Gong-gil and Jang-seng are clowns who gain their way to the palace after performing plays which insulted the king.

Casting is excellent despite not featuring top-popularity Korean stars. The gorgeous and refined Gong-gil (Lee Joon-ki) plays this 'ambiguous' and 'sexless' role really well, so much so that you don't feel him repulsive or laughable. He is not the typical effeminate type that all other movies would have stereotyped. This is important because the film is not about the king being 'gay', but it's going beyond that.

Other than a rather slow pacing, this multifaceted piece explores issues on love, politics and the simplest of human relationships with its dialogues and intricate details. And yes, before you have the wrong idea, this movie is not about being gay or not. (Though it is probably marketed this way to earn dollars.)

The King and The Clown – This Korean period piece speaks more beyond friendship, beyond love.

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