Fantasia 2016: The Throne

The relationship between a king and his son is examined in The Throne. One rainy night, the Crown Prince Sado (Yoo Ah-in) sets out with the intention of assassinating his father King Yeongjo (Song Kang-ho). Sado fails in this task and he is sentenced by his father to be locked up in a chest in the middle of the courtyard. As Sado slowly starves to death, his relationship with his father over the years is revisited.

The Throne is a period drama set within South Korea’s 18th century Joseon era. At the centre of the story is the relationship between King Yeongjo and his son Sado. Yeongjo want Sado to be his heir to the thrown, however it’s not a life that the Prince seems suited for. Over the years, the relationship between Yeongjo and Sado progressively deteriorate, leading towards the assassination attempt and death sentence that frames the story.

From a costume and production design standpoint, The Throne is a quite excellent film. However, the film’s heavy family drama over a more than two hour running time was not really enough to hold my interest. While there are indeed tragic elements to this story, the film really takes its time to reach its point and then continues for a while after its apparent conclusion. The Throne ended up being a bit of a bore for me.
6 / 10 stars
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Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).