A group of friends sets off for a weekend getaway on Friday the 13th to challenge a supernatural belief only to realise that some things are not to be messed with…
MASQUERADE (Gwang-hae: The Man Who Became King) is a South Korean historical film starring Lee Byung-hun in dual roles as the bizarre King Gwang-hae and the humble acrobat Ha-sun, who stands in for the monarch when he faces the threat of being poisoned.
The paranoid 15th ruler of Korea’s Joseon Dynasty, King Gwanghae (LEE Byung-hun), orders his chief secretary Heo Gyun (RYOO Seung-ryong) to find him a double in order to evade the constant threat of assassination. Heo Gyun finds Ha-seon, a performer of satirical farces who bears a remarkable resemblance to the king. Just as feared, Gwanghae is poisoned shortly thereafter.
The chief secretary proposes Ha-seon fill the role of the king until the bed-ridden monarch recovers fully, and grooms Ha-seon to act every bit the part. While assuming the role of ruler at his first official appearance, Ha-seon begins to ponder the intricacies of the problems debated in his court. Being fundamentally more humanitarian than Gwanghae, Ha-seon’s affection and appreciation of even the most minor servants slowly changes morale in the palace for the better.
Over time he finds his voice and takes control of governing the country with real insight and fair judgments. Even the chief secretary is moved by Ha-seon’s genuine concern for the people, and realizes he is an infinitely better ruler than Gwanghae. However, the king’s chief opposition, Park Chung-seo (KIM Myung-gon), notices the sudden shift in the king’s behavior and starts to ask questions. The queen (HAN Hyo-joo) is also conflicted between the real king and the fake king’s secret.
Yoo-lim who recently divorced lives with her only daughter Eun-ah. One day Eun-ah gets raped by three of her fellow students at school, and commits suicide. Since the boys were underage, they were just sent back hope after warning. Yoo-lim complains to the officer OH, who is in charge of this case, but there is nothing he could do.
Filled with anger that the law is useless, Yoo-lim decides to kill them herself one by one. She follows the first target, PARK Jun, who raped her daughter, to a dark parking lot and hits him with her car and runs off leaving him to die. Officer OH hears the news and tries to find who the next target would be. Meanwhile, Yoo-lim follows the direction to the second target, HAN Min-gu’s house texted to Eun-ah’s cell phone and finds out that the boys actually video recorded all the incidents to spread them on the internet. Yoo-lim stabs Min-goo and hurries off.
Leaving one last target, Jo-han, who Eun-ah had crush on, Yoo-lim goes to his classroom with a knife. Yoo-lim chase Jo-han who runs away to the roof and officer OH follows her. But she puts all her energy to end everything that made her and her daughter’s life a living hell.
Lilico (Erika Sawajiri) is a supermodel whose perfect appearance and style make her the object of intense jealousy among young women. Her face is on the front of every fashion magazine in all the convenience stores, she is featured in advertisements shown on the giant outdoor television screens on the city’s buildings, and her career is taking her into movies and TV dramas. At the top of the entertainment industry, she is everywhere, all over Japan. But Lilico has a deep, dark secret….
‘All that’s hers is her eyeballs, her ears, her fingernails, and her pussy. The rest is all fake.’
Lilico has been completely remade with cosmetic surgery. The only people supposed to know that are Tada (Kaori Momoi), her agent, and Kinji Sawanabe (Hirofumi Arai), her make-up artist.
The huge Sanno crime family has grown into a huge organization, expanding its power into politics and legitimate big business. The Sanno’s upper ranks are now dominated by young executives who promote black-marketeering rather than the traditional underground income sources. The old-guard members are penting up resentment as they see themselves being pushed to the sidelines.
This vulnerable spot in the Sanno hierachy is exactly what anti-gang detective Kataoka has been looking for, as the police force prepares a full-scale crackdown. With secret plots and dirty tricks, the ambitious Kataoko will open up a whole new game of yakuza
Detective Kataoka intends to instigate conflict between the Sanno and the Hanabishi, their long-time neighboring ally, in the hopes that they ultimately destroy each other. To help weaken the Sanno, the underhanded cop also provokes their grumbling old-guard executives to consider usurping Chairman Kato from top position. And Kataoka’s trump card is the arranged release from prison of Otomo, the rumored-dead boss of a family once crushed by the Sanno.
The news of Otomo’s release creates tension in the Sanno family. Especially nervous is underboss Ishihara, whose betrayal put Otomo in jail. Fear drives Ishihara to start up a frenzied manhunt to shoot Otomo on sight. But Otomo has no plans on seeking revenge nor does he even intend to be yakuza anymore. Crafty cop Kataoka, however, insists and pushes Otomo to help the police bring down the Sanno family. He forges an unlikely pact between Otomo and Kimura, a former underboss of another family now defunct due to Sanno reign. Kimura also happens to be the guy who stabbed Otomo in prison, making their eventual “sake pact” all the more delicate to maneuver.
With the sense of approaching yakuza warfare, deception and betrayal smolder among the families as everyone watches out for the other’s next move. It’s impossible to guess who will come out on top in this fierce power game. It’s not over until it’s over.