The story starts off with a background introduction of the
tyrant King Yeonsan, followed by an eye-catching opening scene with an
itinerant entertainment troupe
performing dances, songs and acrobatics. The slack-rope walking and
jumping may be somewhat painful for the male audience, but nonetheless, a
very entertaining act.
As the story develops, we
see a free-spirited member of the wretched performing underclass, Jang-saeng
(Karm Woo-sung) challenged the caste system with fatal outcome. Together with
his younger effete actor friend Gong-gil (Lee Jun-ki), they decided to head
to the capital Han-yang to make their fortune.
Joined by three additional
street entertainers, they soon become popular in downtown streets by mocking
the solemn King Yeonsan (Jung Jin-young) and his concubine Nok-su (Kang
Sung-yeon). Things get serious as the authority come to know of their skits
and they are arrested. By a twist of event, they escape execution and are
instead installed as court jesters. Then from there, the movie takes
audiences from one unexpected place to the next for a roller coaster ride.