Over the past couple of years, the political landscape has become a battleground filled with corruption and chaos. When it comes to Korea, the world probably knows its political battleground to be that of the north versus the south. However, just like other governments, there is also corruption within the government as well as going against it.
For those who are unfamiliar with the situation, the president of South Korea, Park Geun Hye, was investigated for a “heartbreaking” scandal in which she was accused of manipulating politics primarily in her favor. Hallyu was suddenly thrown into the mess when President Park’s friend Choi Soon Sil was accused of being one of the main people to manipulate said politics. Soon Sil is connected to Hallyu by showing favoritism towards certain Hallyu celebrities in both K-pop, K-dramas, K-variety shows, and K-movies. One of those favored celebrities was K-pop soloist and former member of Girls’ Generation, Jessica Jung.
To summarize the situation in a more general sense, the authority figures in the South Korean government influence businesses and industries in favor of their own political assets and well-being. And that political climate was paralleled in the new K-movie The King which will open in the U.S. box office this weekend.
The King, starring Jo In Sung (Dear My Friends) and Jung Woo Sung (Padam Padam), is a political thriller following the story of two prosecutors, Park Tae Soo and Hang Kang Sik, who want to wield absolute power. Through their greed, the prosecutors give up their sense of justice as they resort to manipulation and deceit. Given the similarities to President Park’s scandal, South Koreans were able to empathize with the situation as they celebrate her impeachment.
As a result, the preview trailer for The King alone became the most watched movie clip on Naver, according to Korea Portal. One part of the trailer that stood out was when the characters visited a shaman which is a clear parallel to President Park’s activities.
Thanks to OnDemandKorea (ODK), I was able to watch this movie in advance as part of a review. [WARNING: Light Spoilers! Skip To First Paragraph After Last Image To Avoid!] First off, the direction, plot, acting, and all the finite details of the movie were impressive. This movie was clearly made at the right time as it seems to give a thorough detail of what high authority figures will do for their greed. However, I truly admired the two outcomes that comes from the pursuit of said greed.
The first outcome is from Jung Woo Sung who is the leading prosecutor in the land. He uses all his power and manipulation to stay on top and even has means to become even more powerful by pursuing political ventures. He is likened to South Korea’s impeached President Park as he had to get caught to fall.
On the other hand, Jo In Sung represents someone who also wanted to attain great power but regains his conscience on the way primarily through falling flat on his face. After he loses everything including his close friend Choi Doo Il (Ryoo Joon Yeol), he turns a new leaf and realizes he should have been a true prosecutor who seeks justice. He teams up with Kim Ah Joong, another political figure who actually wanted to weed out corruption within the government, and he aims to become the next president of South Korea, one who is truly for the people.
As mentioned earlier, The King will release in North America, specifically the United States and Canada. Below is a list of cities and the theaters showing The King in states (United States) and provinces (Canada)
- United States
- Los Angeles — CGV Cinemas LA
- Fullerton — CGV Cinemas Buena Park
- Irvine — Regal Edwards UTC
- San Diego — AMC Fashion Valley
- Cupertino — AMC Cupertino Square
- Duluth — Regal Medlock Crossing
- Lawrenceville — AMC Sugarloaf Mills
- Aiea — Consolidated Pearlridge
- Niles — AMC Showplace 12 Niles with IMAX
- Boston — AMC Loews Boston Common 19
- Hanover — Cinemark Egyptian
- North Carolina
- Durham — AMC Southpoint
- New Jersey
- Ridgefield Park — AMC Starplex Ridgefield Park
- Edgewater — Edgewater Multiplex Cinemas
- Las Vegas — Regal Village Square
- New York
- New York — AMC Empire 25
- Bayside — AMC Loews Bay Terrace
- Plymouth Meeting — AMC Plymouth Meeting
- Grapevine — AMC Grapevine Mills 30
- Carrollton — Cine Oasis
- Houston — AMC Studio 30
- Fairfaix — Regal Fairfax Towne Center 10
- Seattle — AMC Loews Alderwood
- Seattle — Cinemark Century Federal Way
- Calgary — Cineplex Odeon Westhills Cinemas
- Edmonton — Cinema City Movies 12
- British Columbia
- Coquitlam — Cineplex Cinemas Coquitlam and VIP
- North York — Cineplex Empress
- Toronto — Cineplex Yonge & Dundas
- Montreal — Cineplex Odeon Forum
For K-movie fans who are unable to watch The King possibly due to distance (like Floridians for example), there is a possible light at the end of the tunnel. Given the fact that ODK is heading the North American release of The King, it is more than likely the movie will be available for pay-per-view on their video-on-demand streaming site. Until, then, ODK features five free Korean movies every single month for K-movie fans’ viewing pleasure.
[Featured Image by New Entertainment World]