Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Thoughts: The King and the Clown (2005)
Two male clowns living in the Chosun Dynasty get arrested for staging a play that satirizes the king. They are dragged to the palace and threatened with execution, but are given a chance to save their lives if they can make the king laugh. The king subsequently falls in love with one of the clowns. The movie is based on a small passage from the Annals of the Chosun Dynasty that briefly mentions the king's favorite clown. (from Amazon and Wikipedia)
I kind of don't know where to begin. I walked away with a jumble of mixed thoughts and feelings. This film covered so many elements that it's hard to sort and comment on all of them. If you ask me to sum it up, I would say it's an exploration of tyranny, monarchism, social class, sexual identity and love.
If you read the reviewer posts on Amazon, many are positive and say it's a wonderful film. In terms of cinemetography, acting, story development and pacing, yes it is wonderfully top-notch. I feel Asian films in general tend to move slow and take a while to develop but this one did not have that problem.
While I did enjoy watching the movie, I found it quite perverse and sad. This is definitely one of those movies where you need to fill-in-the-blanks, read between the lines and draw your own conclusions. I spoiled it for myself by reading the plot from Wiki. Don't do it! Watch first and then ponder and compare notes. (I feel like I'm writing a paper for one of my critical thinking class.) I give it 4 out of 5 stars.