Starring: Jo Seung Woo as Mu Myeong and Soo Ae as Min Ja Yeong/ Empress Myeongseong,
Rating: R, subject matter and some violence
Running Time: 124 min
Twinkies: 3 1/2 stars
Synopsis: Mu Myeong (Cho Seung-Woo) is a Joseon dynasty headhunter who meets and falls in love with lady Ja Yeong (Soo-Ae) who will become the future Empress Myseongseong. A few years later, Ja Yeong enters the royal palace to marry King Gojong. Mu Myeong still having feelings for Ja Yeong and in an attempt to get closer to her becomes her personal body guard.
Ja Yeong, now as the Queen of Joseon, becomes involved in a power struggle with Russia and Japan who are attempting to colonize Korea. Furthermore, King Gojong’s father (Cheon Ho-Jin), who wields true power in Joseon, works with the foreign interests which causes Ja Yeong to stand up to him and the foreign diplomats. The king’s father then gives his implicit approval for the Japanese to assassinate Queen Je Yeong. Mu Myeong must now fend off these threats to protect the woman he loves ..
Musings: I stated last year when I did a month of Cho Seung-Won movies, how I felt that he was a consummate actor that was just phenomenal in every role that I have seen. One thing that came abundantly clear to me after seeing this: This man is sensational in historical movies!
I loved his role as Mu Myeong. His love and care for Ja Yeong from before she became the Queen and afterwards was unwavering and true. He never compromised his position as bodyguard but his faithfulness to her was a force to be reckoned with. I loved him!
Soo-Ae was an utter surprise. Of all of the dramas I have seen, I cannot say that I was happy with any of them; however, in movies I believe she excels. Her portrayal of Ja Yeong was spot on.
Her portrayal of the controversial Queen who worked diligently to bring in foreign interests which were contrary to what her husband, the Crown Prince’s father the King allowed. As I watched this, it made me wonder if her failure is what brought on the Japanese influence and later occupation. I have no idea whether the love story line is based on any facts or totally fictionalized. But Empress Myseongseong was a real person and the history states what she tried to accomplish in this movie was fact. Soo-Ae did an excellent job in bringing this story to life.
Admittedly, the ending will not leave a lot watchers happy so I must warn you. But like most historical movies that are based on truth, everything doesn’t have a “happy ending”. Very good movie, well put together.
Trailer is available on on Hancinema Website only. The movie is available on several sites. Ask me if your interested. Also available on Netflix if you are a subscriber.
Again, for next month I plan on tackling more of the Drama Specials that are on Youtube. As the number of specials available grows, I just can’t catch up! KBSWorld has been diligently uploading these every week. I will try to pick a special from different genres, if possible. Wish me luck going through my massive list!!
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.