The Handmaiden

Rated NR 144 minutes 2016

In a spooky mansion in 1930s Korea — during the decades-long Japanese rule — a rich but emotionally distraught Japanese heiress (played by Korean actress Kim Min-hee) is being “gaslighted” by a corrupt playboy and his hireling, the heiress’ new personal maid (Kim Tae-ri). Just another flamboyantly picturesque thriller by Korea’s master shockmeister, director Park Chan-wook, with the added advantage of a historical wrinkle. Otherwise, the usual sex, violence, plot twists, semi-gratuitous sadomasochistic motifs, gorgeous but forbidding visual compositions, etc. Filmmaker Park, working from a script he and Chung Se-kyung adapted from a novel by Welsh author Sarah Waters, pour on the stressful grotesquery. But as usual, it’s too much fun to be of much use (145 min.).

Film Credits

Official Site:

Director: Park Chan-wook

Producer: Park Chan-wook, Syd Lim and Miky Lee

Cast: Kim Min-hee, Kim Tae-ri, Ha Jung-woo, Cho Jin-woong, Kim Hae-sook and Moon So-ri

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