Special Report

Masquerade: Gwanghae, The Man Who Became King

‧ Directed by Choo Chang-min
‧ Genre : Historical drama
‧ Starring : Lee Byung-hun, Ryoo Seung-ryong
‧ 131 Min.

Recently, there is a lot of information available about the presidential candidates for the upcoming election Candidates promise many things during their campaigns to get the most votes. However, most citizens want a leader who thinks of them like they are family. They think the most important quality of a good president is being a good communicator. I want to recommend a movie that may help you to pick a better leader for us.

The box office hit Masquerade: Gwanghae, The Man Who Became King teaches us a valuable lesson about good leaders. This movie is the story of Gwanghae who was one of the kings of the Chosun Dynasty. He is well-known for his violent and sensitive character. Because of his character and negative public opinion, he was ousted from power by the next king. Before watching this movie, I just thought about him in negative ways like he is described in many history books. However, I changed my mind after watching this movie.

In this movie, we can see how he tried to work hard for the nation. Also, the movie describes how he made new policies for the people and enforced them. The background of this movie is the period of Gwanghae's rule when there were lots of fights for power and political struggles. That’s why the English title of this movie is Masquerade. He could not express his own ideas because of severe struggles between political parties.

One day, Gwanghae becomes sick and can’t rule, so Haseon, an actor who performed satirical dramas, is asked to impersonate Gwanhae. He pretends to be Gwanghae, but he doesn't know anything about governing, so Heogyun who is the chief royal secretary helps him to rule. His character is different than the real king. People begin to think the king has become kinder and more warmhearted, so they changed their opinion of him. Moreover, Haseon becomes the king who cares about the public and treats them like family. The final scene shows that the real Gwanghae comes back to rule, and Haseon can go back to acting. Like Haseon, Gwanghae starts to think about his people more and tries hard to help them.

Haseon in this movie is not a real king, but he loves the people more than any other king. I could see a true leader's behavior in many scenes where he scolds his officers and takes care of poor people. I hope to see an impressive leader in this upcoming presidential election who acts like the Haseon. We need a president who understands the people and thinks about them as if they were family.