Monday, March 10, 2014

The Face Reader (2013)

Never truly in love with any historical or action drama, I’m more of a romantic comedy type, but strangely I find this one interesting. The length of the movie is more than two hours, but I enjoy every minute of it. I used to get bored or fall asleep while watching this kind of movie, but it never happen with this one. In fact, I get more excited and my eyes widely open nearing the ending. The story itself is already entitling. I love Lee Jung Jae in this movie. No wonder everyone called him a star and every woman screaming over him, he’s wickedly handsome in this movie.


 The Face Reader set during the Joseon Era where the man name Nae Kyung (Song Kang Ho) is known as the best face reader in that time. Just by looking at someone’s face, Nae Kyung be able to predict what that people has done in their past, what his/her jobs and what will happen to he/she in the future. He’s basically has the same ability as what shaman has. Even though he has a great talent, he still living in a poor condition. Together with his son, Jin Hyeong (Lee Jong Suk) and his brother in law Paeng Hun (Cho Jung Seok), they lived in a shack up on the mountain. They’re living by selling brushes. Actually, Nae Kyung came from a noble family, but because of his father did crime in the past, he and his family expel from society.  

One day, a pretty woman name Yeon Hong (Kim Hye Soo) who owns a gisaeng house in town came to see Nae Kyung and ask him to work with her in her place. She promises him that he will be showered with money and getting out the life he’s been living. Meanwhile, his son Jin Hyeong, who always want to be an official and build justice run off from home to fulfil his dream. After his son left, Nae Kyung decided to take Yeon Hong’s offer and come to town. Nae Kyung then not just turn into a popular face reader who open his practice in town, he’s also become the King’s accomplice. With his face reader ability, King Munjong (Kim Tae Woo) asks Nae Kyung to search a traitor who will snatch his throne. Unfortunately he failed to identify the real traitor, Prince Suyang (Lee Jung Jae), who with his deadly ambitions later tries to snatch the throne from a young crown prince (Chae Sang Woo) that replace his father after King Munjong died.


This movie is complicated yet interesting. Like any others historical drama, this movie also takes time to introduce their viewers into the main storyline. But unlike other boring historical story, The Face Reader manages to tell one by one of the story in a catchy way. I love the story that has continuous acts from the beginning until the end. The Face Reader has it. In the very beginning of the movie, we’re already introduce to see how great the main character power is and in the end we’ve in awe of realizing that it is right. The movie is not all about history or war. What i like from The Face Reader is that it has a romantic comedy side. Although the portion is not as much as what you’ll see in romantic comedy production, it still gives me a couple second of laughter.


The story is actually common when you talk about historical thing. There is always an opposition, a traitor, treason, and a war. But what interesting from this movie is that how the face reader can hold an important role to be the part of those things. It’s the life of a face reader who takes a main focus in the storyline, which is why I thought this movie is different from any historical drama or movie. Not to mention the beautiful relationship between a father and a son who definitely will bring the viewers into tears. 


The actors and actresses of the movie are the real hero. I find that they really put on a good act and portray their role perfectly, especially Lee Jung Jae. This is the third time I watch him in a movie production and he never disappointed me. I never thought that he will play an evil kind of look amazingly. Maybe that is why he sentenced a nickname as an amazing actor. I have watched him in The Thieves and Il Mare, but his performance in The Face Reader is the best. 

On the other hand, this is my first time watching Song Kang Ho acts. Apparently he’s a popular actor in South Korea. This is again, not a surprise. He really did a good job portraying the life of a sloppy yet genius face reader. This is certainly not the last movie I’ll see from him.

Same like Song Kang Ho, this is also my first time watching Lee Jong Suk. Though he’s not the main character in this movie, he’s still leaving a deep impression by his role. I have to admit that his angelic face took over my attention the most in this movie. His act is as good as his picture-perfect face. I want to see him play the bad guy sometime.


I will give 9 out of 10 for The Face Reader.

“That’s because you never met him. He knew everything. He figured out everything just by looking at a face. He was the greatest face reader in Joseon.” – Han Myung Hoi (The Face Reader) 

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