"The Handmaiden" (a film I watched twice in order to realize its worth!)
Updated: Apr 14, 2022
During the japanese occupation, in Korea, a swindler (Ha Jung-Woo) sets a plan to rob the young heiress Hideko(Kim Min-Hee) of her fortune presenting himself as the rich nobleman Fujiwara.In order for his plan to succeed, he hires Sookee (Kim Tae-Ri), a young pickpocket in need, to work as Hideko's handmaiden. Her role is to make her fall in love with the Count and accept his marriage proposal.After the marriage, he intends to close her into an asylum. However, things begin to take a strange twist since the relationship between the two women turns into a romantic one. From that point on, every single moment is unclear since Sookee seems to waver between her feelings and her desperation. Until the very end, we have no clue of her real intentions and this is a plus in this intriguing plot. The presence of Kouzuki(Cho Jin-Woong), Hideko's perverted uncle, gives a twisted element in the plot.He has his own hideous plan to marry her and take control of her enormous fortune.
Park Chan-Wook brings another masterpiece on the screen. His work never fails to impress the spectators who certainly have aknowledged his worth since Old Boy.He managed to give a perfect adaptation of Sara Water's "Fingersmith" with a cast that exceeded our expectations. Kim Tae-Ri,who is also known for her role in "Mr Sunshine", gives a top-notch performance as the handmaiden.Ha Jung-Woo is exquisite in his role as a con man who although he realizes that things are not going according to the plan, he cannot put his finger in the source of the problem. Kim Min-Hee achieves to transform her timid and innocent personality into a powerful and scheming woman who takes control of her life. The cinematography of this film is perfect and offers great pictures of asian scenery and past period atmosphere. "The Handmaiden" has been included in the lists of movies with the most explicit and long sex scene (between the two women).
If you ask me, it's a must-watch film that requires the viewer's full attention in order to understand the background story especially for events that took place in the past.