Yes, it's yet another South Korean film review. I can't help it, I kind of like Asian cinema, especially theirs. This is a good one I discovered a few weeks ago. It was released at the end of 2014 and performed pretty well at the domestic box office. It stars some very well known South Korean actors: Hyun Bin, Jung Jae-young, Jo Jung-suk and Han Ji-min. Director Lee Jae-gyu, is more well known for television dramas (I've only seen two of his works- Bethoven's Virus and The King 2 Hearts) but he makes the transition to feature film quite well. The film's strength lies in his direction and in the story. While it has flaws, its other attributes make up for that.
To start off, a little backstory:
The story is based on a real life assassination attempt on King Jeongjo. He was the 22nd ruler of the Joseon Dynasty and nicknamed the "King of Misfortune," King Jeongjo was the son of the infamous Crown Prince Sado. When Jeongjo was ten years old, Sado was executed by a royal decree from his father, who ordered he be sealed inside a wooden rice box. Sado died eight days later. There are conspiracy theories behind his story, but it is generally accepted that Sado suffered from mental illness and that he would randomly kill people in the palace and was also a serial rapist. The film touches partly on this, though not on the actual reason behind his death.
King Jeongjo came into power after his grandfather's death. He survived no less than seven assassination attempts during his first year of reign. The reason being the fierce party strife between the Noron and Soron factions. Fatal Encounter focuses on one of these attempts.