Masquerade is an unlikely retelling of Mark Twain’s The Prince and the Pauper. This version is set in 16th-century Korea, during the reign of King Gwang-hae, who hires a double to keep assassins at bay. But when the king is poisoned, the imposter must assume the throne. The double is more democratic than the iron-fisted king, and it’s not long before people begin to notice the change. A gorgeous spectacle and one of South Korea’s all-time most successful films, Masquerade is capped by smart, clear direction by Choo Chang-min and a terrific dual performance by Lee Byung-hun. Many people are quick to bemoan all remakes, but the art of adaptation has kept Shakespeare works going for nearly half a millennium and this story has been filmed a number of ways, proving that when it’s done right, a good story is worth retelling.
Director: Choo Chang-Min
Cast: Lee Byung-Hun, Ryu Seung-Ryong, Han Joo and Kim In-Kwon