February 05, 2014

Movie review: The Face Reader

One of my most anticipated movies in 2013. I finished this today and it did satisfied me. Starring Song Kang Ho as the face reader, this saeguk film tells about how he can accurately read everyone's character through their face because everybody has different face line. The other main leads are Jo Jung Seok as his brother-in-law and Lee Jong Suk as his limp son. The family has been exiled because of his father who was a traitor to the king and their lives are dull. LJS once saw an injustice towards the poor so he wanted to be a government official to set for justice. At first SKH didnt agree because he didnt want his son to face those political things but his in-law supported his son and finally he agreed. The story continues as they went apart; SKH and JJS made it to the government as an unofficial official because of his face reading ability got recognised widely and his son made it through although he changed his name. The rest would be the political problem, mostly about the king's uncle who wants to dethrone the new young king. I like how they bring the face reading ability as the main theme here. The way they describe it when he was reading people's face is just awesome; I was awed for a few times. The plot is still about Joseon dynasty (if Im not mistaken) but the King is not King Sejong. Jo Jung Seok also did it very well; his character is talkative but not overacting (not like what he did in Architecture 101 where I almost didnt recognise him). As for Lee Jong Suk, his hairstyle is wooooorse yet his acting is okay. I wont make any spoiler here; I myself think the ending suits it the best. The Face Reader also became one of the highest-grossing films in South Korea in 2013, with 9.1 million admissions. It won six awards at the 50th Grand Bell Awards, including Best Film, Best Director for Han Jae-rim, and Best Actor for Song Kang Ho. Very recommended one!

Nae-gyeong, the most skillful face reader in Joseon dynasty, was living in seclusion when he was offered a lucrative partnership by Yeon-hong, a gisaeng. Nae-gyeong accepts the proposal to read the faces of Yeon-hong’s guests only to get involved in a murder case. With his face reading skills, Nae-gyeong successfully identifies the murderer and his skills are soon acknowledged by King Munjong who orders him to identify the potential traitors who threaten his reign. However after the unexpected death of Munjong, Nae-gyeong is courted by Grand Prince Suyang who yearns to become King himself by killing the young successor Danjong. Nae-gyeong decides to keep his loyalty to the late King and help Kim Jongseo protect the young King which forces him into the biggest power struggle in the history of the Joseon dynasty. (wiki)

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