King and The Clown is a 2005 S. Korean movie that stars Kam Woo Sung (Jang Sang) and Lee Jun Ki (Gong Gil) as two tightrope walking street performers in the Joseon Dynasty in the late 15 century rule of King Yeonsan (Jung Jin Young).
Being tired of the troupe manager selling off Gong Gil, an effeminate male, for payment or goods received. Jang Sang and Gong Gil try to run away but is caught by the manager. A fight ensues where Gong Gil kills the manager to save Jang Sang’s life. They decide to go to Seoul where they run into a trio of street performers and they come together to create a street show mocking the King and his favored concubine Jang Nu Suk. They are arrested and nearly beaten to death until Jang Sang makes a deal, If the King doesn’t laugh at their vulgar show, then they all shall die. Well, the King liked them so much that he set them to live in the confines of the palace and to occasionally perform detailed performances that pointed out the illegal and dirty deeds of the ministers and the events that lead to his mother’s death. The end of these performances ended in bloodshed at the hands of the King toward his intended victims. After Jang Sang finally caught to what was happening, he declared the troupe was leaving before they end up killed but the King has a strange longing for Gong Gil and refused his request to leave.
If I wouldn’t have seen the year this movie was released and noticed that this actors were much younger, I would have thought this was either a new release or a few year old. The cinematography and visual production was excellent. Makeup and Costumes were beautiful. Lee Jun Ki is already a gorgeous androgynous man who can go from male to female effortless. He was damn sure pretty in this movie.
Jung Jin Young is on my short list of “sugar daddy” crushes and I had to re-examine my crush standards after seeing him in this character. He was “crazier than a bessie bug”. He played the hell out of this character. I was squeeing the first time I seen him. He was sitting on the throne all mad looking with his dark groomed eyebrows, groomed beard and all in his beautiful “Kingness” BUT as soon as he laughed, I knew he was going down hill.
I read up on some history about King Yeonsun before I watch this movie and I know going in that he is considered the most vicious and cruel King during the Joseon era. Knowing and getting a visual is clearly two different things. If that was Jung Jin Young take on the King, I would have hated to see the real thing. I would have probably offed myself as soon as he showed a speck of interest. (No No Nooooooooooooooooo King, I ain’t going out on your terms, Lover see you in another life)
My love for Lee Jun Ki grew a bit more in this movie. It’s one thing when I fangirl hard when you are in manly man form but when you make me forget that and see you as this loving and timid effeminate male who becomes this strong and daring person when performing. I was completely drawn into this character. I empathized and sympathized from the moment he hit the screen to the bittersweet end.
You may not believe this. I had never seen Kam Woo Sung in anything. I can’t believe in my almost 2 years of Asian drama watching that I never seen not one film or drama that he starred in. Certainly my damn lost. He was magnificent as Jang Sang. If I would have known he was the male lead in the 2014 drama, My Spring Days, I would have made it a mission to watch it but it’s never to late. It’s going on my plan to watch list while I look through the synopsis of all the films he starred in. I am eyeing “Spider Forest”. It will be my luck that I can’t find that streaming anywhere.
Overall, I enjoyed everything about this movie despite it moving a slower pace that I like. I say that only because historical films or dramas aren’t my forte and I lose focus at some point because the tend lag at some point for me but this is a true testament to how great this movie turned out. It did lag but it was no way I was fast forwarding or pausing it so I can get my focus back. I watched it straight to the end with no regret.
Also loving the main song from the OST: Lee Sun Hee ~ Fate