The Mayor (2017 film)

The Mayor (Korean특별시민; Hanja特別市民; RRTeukbyeolsimin, lit. "Special Citizen") is a 2017 South Korean political drama film written and directed by Park In-je. It stars Choi Min-sik, Kwak Do-won, Shim Eun-kyung, Moon So-ri, Ra Mi-ran, Ryu Hye-young, and Ki Hong Lee.[3] The film was released in South Korea on April 26, 2017 and in the US and Canada on April 28.[4][5][6]

The Mayor
특별시민 The Mayor.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Revised RomanizationTeukbyeolsimin
Directed byPark In-je
Produced byJeong Byeong-wuk
Written byPark In-je
StarringChoi Min-sik
Kwak Do-won
Shim Eun-kyung
Moon So-ri
Ra Mi-ran
Ryu Hye-young
Ki Hong Lee
Music byPark In-young
Palette Pictures
Distributed byShowbox
Release date
  • April 26, 2017 (2017-04-26)
Running time
130 minutes
CountrySouth Korea
Box officeUS$9.3 million (South Korea)[1]
US$96,777 (US)[2]


Byeon Jong-gu, the incumbent mayor of Seoul, seeks a third term which will set him up for a run at the presidency. As the election campaign gets underway, Byeon employs all ways and means to keep his darkest secrets hidden from his adoring public. Wiretapping, corruption, murder—everything is on the table and no one is safe.


Special appearanceEdit


Filming commenced on April 28, 2016 and wrapped four months later.[8]

Writer-director Park In-je began working on the script in 2014. Park said the film was not made to focus on the dark side of political elections, but as a means to shed light on human's "unremitting desire for power".[9] The film also marks star Choi Min-sik's second time ever to portray a politician after 1995's MBC TV series The Fourth Republic, in which he played late President Kim Dae-jung. Unlike The Fourth Republic, the character of Byeon in The Mayor was not modeled after a particular politician. Choi said: "I embodied the character by synthesizing all the images that I had about politicians… Up until [shooting the film], I had never been directly engaged in politics or met closely with politicians… After trying to think of the image of politicians, I concluded that speech is the most important skill for them. Politicians rise and fall from the words they used. So I decided to focus on having a good command of language when playing Byeon Jong-gu".[10][9][11][12]


The Mayor was released on 1,152 screens in South Korea on April 26, 2017. It topped the box office on its opening day, with 185,776 tickets sold.[13] During its opening weekend, it earned $6.1 million from 904,000 admissions over five days ranking first at the box office.[14]

The film was released in the US and Canada on April 28, 2017 and was distributed by Well Go USA.[15]

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Nominee Result
54th Grand Bell Awards [16] Best Supporting Actor
Kwak Do-won
Best Supporting Actress
Moon So-ri


  1. ^ "The Mayor (2017)". Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  2. ^ "The Mayor (2017) - Box Office Mojo". Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  3. ^ "LEE Ki-hong Readies Korean Debut as SPECIAL CITIZEN". Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  4. ^ "SHOWBOX". Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  5. ^ "Choi Min-sik unscrupulous politician in new film". Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  6. ^ "[USA and Canada] 'The Mayor' to be released in USA and Canada on April 28". Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  7. ^ "[INTERVIEW] Kwak Do-won hopes film takes people to polls". 24 April 2017. Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  8. ^ "Filming for SPECIAL CITIZEN with CHOI Min-shik Gets Underway". Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  9. ^ a b "Top actors all out to box office war". 18 April 2017. Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  10. ^ "Hitting theaters before heading to the polls : Two new films take a look at the dark side of political campaigns". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  11. ^ "(Movie Review) 'The Mayor' tells why we should vote". Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  12. ^ "(Yonhap Interview) Politicians' craving for power now understandable, says 'The Mayor' actor". Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  13. ^
  14. ^ Kil, Sonia (1 May 2017). "Korea Box Office: Topical Local Titles 'Mayor,' 'Case Note' Head Weekend". Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  15. ^ "The Mayor - Well Go USA Entertainment". Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  16. ^ "54th Daejong Film Awards (Grand Bell Awards) 2017". Retrieved 25 October 2017.

External linksEdit