Movie Monday – Gabi (2012)

Starring: Joo Jin Mo as Illichi, Kim So Yeon as Danya, Park Hee Soon as Emperor Gojong, Yoo Sun as Sadako, Kim Ga Eun as Geum Hee, and Kim Eung Soo as Miura

Rating: PG-13 (R), subject matter and some violence

Running Time: 115 min

Twinkies: 4 1/2 stars


Synopsis: Movie is based on the novel “Russian Coffee” by Kim Tak Hwan filmed in 16 different locations in South Korea and Russia. ‘Coffee” depicts the assassination attempt of King Gojong (Park Hee-Soon) – the 26th king of the Joseon Dynasty. Set towards the end of the 19th century, when coffee was first introduced to Korea, Russian sharpshooter Illichi (Joo Jin-Mo) and Joseon’s first barista Danya (Kim So-Yeon) are manipulated by Sadako (Yoo-Sun) in an intricate plot to assassinate King Gojong.


Musings: I started this movie for one reason only: Joo Jin Moo. After watching the drama, Bicheonmu, I was really exciting and just wanted to see more of him. I came across this movie while searching for another and I must admit I was pleasantly surprised and glad that I did watch it.


One thing for sure, Gabi is far from what you expect. I wasn’t expecting the filming to be everywhere from Russia to Korea and a few places in between. Another surprise is the fact that the actors had mastered so many languages because of the supporting and guest cast that included a lot of foreign actors from Russia, China, England as well as the US. You got to see both Joo Jin Mo and especially Kim So Yeon speak all of these languages to perfection.


In addition, I wasn’t expecting the amount of action scenes in the beginning and also sprinkled throughout the movie. The movie was successful in telling a story of about the introduction of coffee to the royal family. It also through a fictionalized accounting of attempted assassination plots against King Gojong as the movie takes place in the late 1800s.


Costuming, sets and filming was perfectly executed. Acting by the leads to include Park Hee Soon as King Gojong was sensation. His scenes with Danya (Kim So-Yeon) are definitely the highlight of the movie. The romance between Danya and Illichi was pretty much in the beginning. Why you ask? You’ll have to watch the movie. Great acting; excellent story!


Trailer is available on on YouTube Website only. The movie is available on various streaming websites.

For next month, I will revisit some more of the readily available KBSWorld Drama Specials that are available on YouTube. As usual, no particular genre, just the best!

I’m available on Twitter. Thanks to all of you Twinkles out here who are taking the time to read! If you have a suggestion for a future review, just leave me a comment! I’m always happy to have movie suggestions.

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