Newly-hired gofer Young-Jak Joo becomes a key pawn in a powerful South Korean corporate-crime family obsessed with sex, money, and intrigue. The family bribes a government official to take ... See full summary »
Based on the novel 'Les Liaisons Dangereuses,' this film is set in aristocratic 18th-century Korea at the end of the Chosun Dynasty. The irresistible temptress Lady Cho asks her cad of a ... See full summary »
(Korean with English subtitles) Blending politics with romance, noted director of "The Housewife" weaves a story of two activists in hiding in a remote shack. The intimate setting proves to be fertile ground for hidden desires.
In order to let things cool down from their latest heist, Popeye and his group of thieves go to Macau on a job. But the mastermind behind this job is none other than Popeye's old partner ... See full summary »
Korea, 1724. Once upon a time in the Choson Dynasty, Chun-doong falls in love at first sight with a beautiful woman whilst in the middle of a fight. Her name is Seol-ji and she works as a ... See full summary »
Eun-yi is a playful young woman, a good match for a job as nanny to a precocious child, Nami, the daughter of a wealthy couple, Hae-ra and Hoon. Hae-ra will soon have twins as well. The majordomo, Mrs. Cho, is the household's cold stone center. Before long, Hoon seduces Eun-yi, and when Mrs. Cho tells Hae-ra's mother about the affair, Eun-yi is up against women with wealth, power, and no conscience. Can Eun-yi maintain her dignity and perhaps even put the family in their place? Written by
La Mamma Morta
from Opera Andrea Chinier
Performed by Maria Callas
Composed by Umberto Giordano
Courtesy of EMI Records Ltd.
By arrangement with Warner Music Korea, a Warner Music Group Company See more »
A South Korean soap opera, The Housemaid is a combination of Fatal Attraction, In the Mood for Love, and myriad other adultery thrillers. Its sensual sheen and quiet sexuality underpin a grim war between servants and the ruling class with no one winning.
Adapted from an earlier Korean version by director Sang-soo Im, it tells of naïve Eun-yi (Jeon Do-yuon) being hired as a maid in a wealthy household, whose head, Hoon (Jung-Jae-Lee), takes her as a love interest while his pregnant wife comes to term and the other ladies gradually find out that Eun-yi is pregnant as well. While the house is meticulously modern and opulent, an undercurrent of evil runs through it as if it were a Poe tale.
Although at times Housemaid moves slowly, especially in the mid section, no audience could be indifferent to the haughty treatment of the servants by the rich, who treat them as you might think Thomas Jefferson treated his own slaves, with decorum but decidedly selfish and cruel. Eun-yi is not totally innocent, for she enjoys the master's attention, and Hoon can be partially forgiven because of the harpies like his wife and mother-in-law, who treat him like a child, or in the case of his wife, ignore his sexual needs except to create children. That he plays a mean classical piano and drinks wine like an aristocrat used to the fineness of wealth, Hoon is partially an animal of the lowest order, giving in to his appetites protected by his wealth and his ladies.
The final moments are the payoff as most everyone in not spared humiliation or violence. Although the connection between the opening and closing is a bit too much of a figurative and literal connection, The Housemaid holds up admirably as Gothic horror in a modern Asian setting replaying the themes of class conflict and revenge.
8 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?