The Handmaiden Movie Review
This month’s title, we are staying in the Asian region with a South Korean/Japanese film. The Handmaiden. This is directed by one of my favorite Asian directors Park Chan-Wook some of his films I highly highly recommend Oldboy and the whole vengence trilogy and also his English language film Stoker.
The Handmaiden is based on the British novel called Fingersmith this is written by Sarah Waters but here for this film. It has been reworked to fit the 1930’s Japan occupied Korea.
Here the lowly pickpocket Sook Hee played by Kim Tae-Ri enters a plot with a conman to serve as a maid to a rich heiress Lady Hideko to befriend her and gain her trust as this conman swoops in and tries to marry her so they can steal her money.
I have to start by saying the beauty, the artistic eye the artistic vision of this film is just overwhelming stunning from the cinematography to the costumes of this 30’s era to the actual actresses themselves Kim Tae-Ri and also Kim Min-He are seriously both ridiculously stunning.
This is a masterfully crafted piece of cinema where you can pause any frame anywhere in the entire movie and have a gallery worthy portrait. This is a screenplay presented in acts so the information is dolled out piece by piece and it’s extremely ambitious in its twists and turns as the characters continue to evolve and reveal a little bit more and a little bit more as the movie goes on.
It is going to challenge you with all the traditional gender stereotypes and stigmas and though this is a long run at nearly 2 and a half hours it’s such a complete exploration of these characters that it really does justify every moment that you spend with them.