Korea's Fall holiday line-up
Historical fiction VS the everyday lives of spies VS comedic horror
A load of new films are ready to deliver fun and excitement during the Korean Thanksgiving holidays. Here we introduce three of the most anticipated films from the bunch. They come from a variety of different genres: Masquerade is a piece of historical fiction, Gancheop is a spy film with a realistic twist and Ghost Sweepers is a comic horror film. The three will be intensely competing with each other, hopefully enhancing an already robust Korean film market.
Gross Production Cost: KRW 10 billion | Historical Fiction | Release date: Sept. 20th
Directed by Choo Chang-min | Starring Lee Byung-hun, Ryu Seung-ryong, Han Hyo-joo, Kim In-kwon, Jang Gwang and Shim Eun-kyoung
Key fact: A triple role for Lee Byung-hun
Storyline: Ha-seon, a common performer, lives for ten days disguised as Prince Gwanghae, who has been threatened with a possible poisoning.
Crucial Scene: Tension grows when ‘the real king’ and ‘the fake king’ meet each other, Lee Byung-hun playing both of them.
Notable Remark: “This is a serious discourse on the image of a leader that contemporary times call for, but the voice is rather humorous throughout. Why do politicians lack the simple logic that even a common street performer can figure out?” - Producer Won Dong-yeon
Storm Shadow Meets Slapstick Comedy
Lee Byung-hun plays three roles in the film: the performer Ha-seon, Prince Gwanghae and of course Ha-seon as he pretends to be Prince Gwanghae. The crucial aspect of his acting is the difference he can create between the characters. Won Dong-yeon, CEO of REALies thought, "Lee Byung-hun is the only one who can play this difficult role," as soon as he read the scenario.
He added, “Acting as Prince Gwanghae and Ha-seon might be easy, but it is a different story when one actor has to simultaneously play as both of them in a single scene, which he managed to do quite well. By virtue of his abilities, not a single scene of the film gets boring.”
Lee Byung-hun was working on G.I. Joe: Retaliation in Hollywood when casting decision were being made. Producer Won Dong-yeon and Director Choo Chang-min didn’t hesitate to fly to Los Angeles to meet him. Yet, Lee Byung-hun was not sure if he could act in a comedy film. Won Dong-yeon said, “This film contains slapstick comedy. I knew he was worried because he had usually played serious characters up to this point. On the other hand, I also knew how humorous he is. All he needed to do was show his true nature.” After Lee Byung-hun became a Hollywood star, he was ironically pushed far from the public. However, Won Dong-yeon quelch the existing prejudice against him and said, “Once you watch this film, he will look like the guy next door. You will feel very familiar with him. He dares do whatever he can. He shows his butt and rolls on the ground.”
Most of the scenes in Masquerade in the palace. Therefore the space of the palace becomes a very important element throughout the film. Scenes were actually shot at some of the real historical palaces in Seoul including Gyeongbok Palace, Changdeok Palace and Gyeonghee Palace. Only minimal computer graphics were used for background effects. Although the film is not a fusion of new and old but a legitimate historical drama, it aims at offering an eloquent and modern visuality. Also heightening the film's ambience is an orchestra of 60 musicians, lending it both class and dignity and making the soundtrack a must-listen.