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.Written by
During filming, due to the summer heat, Tae-ri Kim always brought a big bottle of beverage - either coffee, tea, or mineral water. She shared her drink with fellow actress Min-hee Kim using the same straw she's using. Min-hee Kim said during Arirang TV Showbiz Korea interview that Tae-ri Kim just placed the straw into her mouth. See more »
Mercury is a slow (typically chronic not acute) poison that will kill victims over a period of days not within minutes. Metallic mercury in the tiny amounts presented would not be lethal at all in the circumstances shown. See more »
Aunt of Lady Hideko:
When Jinlian finally took off her clothes, Ximen Qing examined her Jade Gate, discovering the Secret Well to find it hairless, white as snow, and smooth as jade. Tight as a drum, and soft as silk. Once he drew apart the curtains of flesh, a scent of well-aged wine emanated from within, and on fold upon fold of the red velvet interior, beads of dew were forming. Its centre was dark and void, yet as if it had its own life, it twitched and twitched...
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Blue is the Warmest Color + Oldboy = The Handmaiden
Not the craziest film content wise, that award goes to The Neon Demon, but definitely the craziest film storytelling wise. Park Chan-Wook's The Handmaiden is almost as good as the film that put him on the map, Oldboy, and brings such ferocity and energy that it will be one of the most unforgettable films of 2016.
Think of The Handmaiden as The Duke of Burgundy F'd Up Edition. This film is pretty twisted in the most unexpected ways from the cinematography that is very reminiscent of Possession in that it always keeps moving, eroticism that is reminiscent of Blue is the Warmest Color, performances as spellbinding as Carol, and the insanity of Park Chan- Wook as expected.
The cinematography is some of the most entrancing of the year. Shots that look like they came out of The Master. It's shots like these that make me wonder how was this even possible? It looks so damn cool!
The performances are perfect in sucking you into this world of erotica, selfishness, and trickery. Both female leads were fantastic. Min-hee Kim and Kim Tae-ri are amazing with sharing their sexual tension with the audience watching. It's films like these that are the most memorable. Making you feel how ther characters are feeling. Jung-woo Ha and Jin- woong Jo were great as these sexually and financially repressed men who do the most screwed up things to feel the pleasure they so desire. Nothing wrong with the cast at all.
Of course Park Chank-Wook hits it out of the part with directing. How else would this immaculate vision be done without him niche for detail. He always knows exactly what to do to get an emotion out of his audience and I applaud him for that.
The only negative is that during the middle briefly the pacing slows down a lot and it became really unbearable because I wanted to know exactly what was going to happen next. Thankfully it doesn't last that long and it's really minor that probably won't affect others viewings.
If you have any interest in The Handmaiden or you've just heard about it for the first time I strongly suggest checking this out as soon as it comes out. I'll definitely re watch it when it releases in theaters. Easily one of the best films of the year and one I hope to re watch soon.
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