The Handmaiden

June. 01,2016
Rating:
8.1
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Trailer Synopsis Cast Keywords

1930s Korea, in the period of Japanese occupation, a new girl (Sookee) is hired as a handmaiden to a Japanese heiress (Hideko) who lives a secluded life on a large countryside estate with her domineering Uncle (Kouzuki). But the maid has a secret. She is a pickpocket recruited by a swindler posing as a Japanese Count to help him seduce the Lady to elope with him, rob her of her fortune, and lock her up in a madhouse. The plan seems to proceed according to plan until Sookee and Hideko discover some unexpected emotions.

Kim Min-Hee as  Lady Hideko
Kim Tae-Ri as  Sookee
Ha Jung-Woo as  Count Fujiwara
Cho Jin-woong as  Uncle Kouzuki
Kim Hae-sook as  Ms. Sasaki
Moon So-ri as  Aunt of Noble Lady
Lee Dong-Hwi as  Goo-gai
Lee Yong-nyeo as  Bok-soon
female nudity
con man
pickpocket
plot
lesbian sex
explicit sex
con woman
lesbianism
scissoring

Reviews

Deborah Young
2018/03/09

All the best things about Asian cinema, rolled into one.

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Maggie Lee
2018/03/09

Clever, heady and sensually lavish to a fault.

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Mike D Angelo
2018/03/09

Starts out looking as if it ll be a deeply serious (and seriously depressing) tale of a Korean "comfort woman" forced to service the occupying Japanese military. After about five minutes of grandiose solemnity, Park drops the charade.

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Alison Willmore
2018/03/09

The Handmaiden is sexy and twisty and so compelling despite this, lodging itself in the points of view of two women who are constantly underestimated by the men around them, and who learn to take advantage of how they re misjudged.

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Katie Rife
2018/03/09

Female leads Kim Min-hee and Kim Tae-ri are both standouts, conveying the complexity of the film s multi-layered con games with subtle changes of facial expression and tone of voice.

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Anthony Lane
2018/03/09

The secret of the film, I suspect, is its love of secrets. The men and women guard their stratagems like jewels, and their lusts like hidden fires.

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Tom Huddleston
2018/03/09

Elegant, intensely romantic... The visual equivalent of drinking three glasses of champagne in the bath.

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April Wolfe
2018/03/09

Sure, Park might be at Peak Male Gaze here, but he s also telling a dazzling, darkly comic story about two women fed up with the patriarchy.

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Kevin P. Sullivan
2018/03/09

Director Park Chan-wook has always had a stunningly cinematic eye, but he s better known for gouging someone else s out. In The Handmaiden, he demonstrates a lightness and humor unseen in his previous work.

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J. R. Jones
2018/03/09

Park seizes on the story s potent combination of larceny and taboo sexuality, and his steamy love scenes are enhanced by Seong-hie Ryu s sumptuous set decor.

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