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The Royal Tailor (2014): A Movie Review

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Asian South Korean Movie The Royal Tailor starring Park Shin-hye, Han Suk-kyu, Go Soo and Yoo Yeon-seok

The movie portrayed how revolutionary ideas in Joseon era are condemned and are used to spark court battles, even more so, had turned a man against his conscience just to survive.


The story line is not based on any real-life Korean king historically. The plot revolves around the fashion of the era, its new king and his beautiful wife, the royal tailor and the young clothes-maker.


The film exhibits not only the conflicts among the four major casts, but also portrays their internal struggle individually.


The new king neglected his wife even though he cherished her only because of what she reminded him of— his brother’s leftover. The queen, on the other hand, was one of the three finalist for the then Crown Prince (the old king). Though by law she is to be one of the King’s woman and cannot marry anyone, the Crown Prince suggested out of malice to make her his brother’s wife instead since he is also of marrying age already. It was tragedy for the two people who love each other since then because one of them cannot set his ego and pride aside for having his brother’s leftover for a wife.


And there is the young clothes-maker who have no care for the rules but is happy in his own free ways. He has talents but is lowborn. Another tragedy. He is faulty in many ways by Joseon era standards and whatever clothes he made bore his burned insignia.


The royal tailor is also a hand-me-down from the previous king along with the whole court. Due to his selfish desire to be promoted to a nobleman status (Yangban), he proceeded to work in earnest to make everyone’s clothes for the upcoming king’s coronation day. He has talent for embroidery but is old- fashioned if not creative.


Because of some mishap, the royal tailor and the young clothes-maker met. The young idolizes the old while the old envy the young. Eventually, the king’s shift of favor sparked rivalry between the two.


The young clothes-maker’s beheading marked the climax of the story. His death left the king in even more worst state, the queen was distraught and sorrowful, and the royal tailor was drown in grief and regrets of soaking his own hands of the young clothes-maker’s blood.


The royal tailor had been promoted to Yangban status, was dressed in a nobleman’s clothing that the late clothes-maker had made for him, and even praised in history for bringing revolutionary ideas in fashion, which is the truth the young clothes-maker’s ideas.