Joo Ji Hoon‘s return to the big screen after being discharged from the military where he portrays two unrelated characters who look identical yet have very different personalities in this historical comedy drama film. This was shown at the London Korean Film Festival 2012.
When his older brother is dethroned for his poor behaviour, Chung Nyeong (Joo Ji Hoon) is suddenly chosen by his father to become the new Crown Prince. But Chung Nyeong doesn’t want to be the Crown Prince at all and prefers to spend his days reading books.
One night he decides to run away before the coronation ceremony. At the same time a slave named Deok Chil is trying to break into the palace to find Lady Soyeon, the woman he serves. Unfortunately things go terribly wrong for Chung Nyeong when he is mistaken for Deok Chil as they both share a resemblance to one another and Deok Chil is forced to be disguise himself as the soon-to-be Crown Prince.
* Joo Ji Hoon’s double portrayal of Chung Nyeong and Deok Chil is great. Two characters with opposite personalities. While both are equally charming in their own way one is stupid, unclean with twitching habits whilst the other is well-spoken, a dedicated bookworm yet very unaware of what goes in the real world.
* Chung Nyeong’s epiphanies while on the run. He learns he cannot just run away from being the Crown Prince.
* Chung Nyeong’s fascination with the pen (as in the stationery).
* The palace food is grand and appetising. I can see why Deok Chil devoured them greedily, although his table manners were messy.
* Chung Nyeong’s personal guards Hwang Hui and Hae Gu were hilarious and entertaining throughout the film.
* The King’s sudden outburst on Yang Nyeong was utterly random, however this was the opening scene for the comedic side of the film.
* Interesting but awkward how the scenes tend to change between Chung Nyeong and Deok Chil when they’re in their alternative worlds. Deok Chil as the Crown Prince enjoying royal life and having servants at his side constantly whilst Chung Nyeong struggles to tell people he is not an ordinary slave and gets beaten up for his supposed craziness.
* The story has a weak, slow opening but gradually picks up after the identity swap begins.
* The princess and her over the top antics when she realises the Crown Prince is with another woman. Of course she has no idea this is an imposter. Actually she was rather melodramatic overall.
* Mistaken identity stories can be predictable but of course you will get a decent solution by the end…hopefully.
* The Magistrate being pervy towards Sol Bi the young slave girl.
* Wish there was a bit more background story to Jang Young Shil. At least he proves he can invent amazing things.
* Not really a bad point about the film but wow…the dung tent.
Overall: A cliche story based on swapping identities for sure but I thought this was a rather enjoyable film for two hours. There were some laughable scenes along with a few serious moments where realistic problems needed to be considered. An important point to make note of was how both Chung Nyeong and Deok Chil grow as characters throughout the film and learn a few tricks to become better people.