A spectacular fraud and a masterpiece from the South Korean mastermind of movies Park Chan-wook(Old Boy, Stoker)
The Handmaiden is an erotic, beautiful and elegant masterpiece of a movie and director Park Chan-wook is not afraid to make it grotesque, funny and visually beautiful. The result is one of the best movies ever made, and a solid story about revenge and love.
We are in South Korea, during the Japanese occupation and a two criminals makes a plan on how to defraud a wealthy and lonely young rich girl Hideko(Kim Min-hee). So the thief Sook-hee(Kim Tae-hi) plays the part of her Handmaiden, and are gonna manipulate her into falling in love and marry the fake count Fujiwara(Ha Jung-woo). Sook-hee is an adorable and well written character you always have to love. The count is sleazy and disgusting and there is the mysterious nobel mistress Hideko. But after a while we start to realize that nothing, is as it’s seems.
Chan-wook is a master of making movies that mess with our heads. He did so in both Old Boy and Stoker, and he perfectionist it here in The Handmaiden, by using beautiful mise-en-scene and a strong cinematography by Chung Chung-hoon(Who also shot Old Boy) he manages to make film art. We are in a big japanese mansion and director and cinematographer plays with symbolism in a way that seems completely natural. It is grotesque and violent torture scenes, and slightly creepy mood all throughout the film
The Handmaiden is an erotic psychological thriller, and the movie is being told through three acts seen from each of the main characters perspective. They have also added some solid dose of really dark humour so that the complex plot will not become too much. You will find yourself laughing several times throughout this film, and the way the director portrays two very strong female characters tells a strong feminist message
I Saw this movie first time in March while attending Kosmorama; Trondheim International Movie Festival, and i instantly fell in love with everything from the first second. You can barely feel the two hours and thirty minutes it lasts. and plenty of plot twists and shocking violent scenes will keep any audience glued to their seat and in complete shock when the plot is revealed at the ending
The Handmaiden is a masterpiece of film art, and everyone that loves film is gonna love every second of this. It is visually beautiful to watch. It has amazing acting and amazing film-technique makes this one of the best films ever made, and a movie everyone should try to watch in a cinema if they have the chance. This is the movie Park Chan-wook will be remembered for.