(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.
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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
Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 17 in D-
The Tempest", Op. 31, No. 2, 'Allegretto' (3rd Movement)"
Performed by Unknown
Composed by Ludwig van Beethoven
This is the first piano piece Eun-yi hears Mr. Goh playing on the piano at the house See more »
One evening in a busy city center, a restaurant worker, Eun-yi, witnesses a young woman preparing to throw herself from the upper floor of an apartment block, and the incident leads her to change her way of life. She takes the position of housemaid to a wealthy tycoon, who lives in a luxurious residence with his beautiful pregnant wife, their precocious young daughter and a strict housekeeper. Eun-yi likes the job, but it's soon apparent she and her handsome employer are attracted to one another - and one night he shows up in her room, offers her wine and commands her to pleasure him orally. Later he adds a bonus to her salary, and Eun-yi is not displeased when he returns on a subsequent night to have sex with her. Unfortunately the housekeeper observes them and informs her boss's wife - whereupon the wheels of intrigue are set in motion with a vengeance.
The luminous De-yeon Jeon portrays Eun-yi as a character full of interesting contradictions in an assured, sensitive performance, and the first half of 'The Housemaid' is filmed in a sumptuous style of Korean noir that provides a fine showcase for her acting skills. Each scene is beautifully composed and shot at a measured pace - but as the conspiracies and chicanery accumulate in the second half, the film transforms into Gothic melodrama - until the final moments when it descends into the lurid Grand Guignol of Asia Extreme. It's a disappointing conclusion to a story that had promised far greater substance and sophistication.
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