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Ah-ga-ssi (2016)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 1 June 2016 (South Korea)
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A woman is hired as a handmaiden to a Japanese heiress, but secretly she is involved in a plot to defraud her.

Director:

Chan-wook Park

Writers:

Sarah Waters (inspired by the novel "Fingersmith" by), Seo-kyeong Jeong (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
750 ( 98)
Top Rated Movies #247 | Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 61 wins & 92 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Min-hee Kim ... Lady Hideko
Tae-ri Kim ... Sook-Hee
Jung-woo Ha ... Count Fujiwara
Jin-Woong Cho ... Uncle Kouzuki (as Jin-woong Jo)
Hae-sook Kim ... Miss Sasaki (as Hae-suk Kim)
So-Ri Moon ... Aunt of Lady Hideko
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Si-yeon Ha Si-yeon Ha ... Maid 3
Ha-na Han Ha-na Han ... Junko
Ha-dam Jeong Ha-dam Jeong ... Maid 5
Eun-hyung Jo Eun-hyung Jo ... Young Hideko
Eun-yeong Kim Eun-yeong Kim ... Maid 4
In-woo Kim In-woo Kim ... Audience Member
Dong-hwi Lee Dong-hwi Lee ... Goo-gai
Kyu-jung Lee Kyu-jung Lee ... Maid 1
Yong-nyeo Lee ... Bok-soon
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Storyline

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 CJ Entertainment

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Never did they expect to get into a controversial relationship...


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

South Korea

Language:

Korean | Japanese

Release Date:

1 June 2016 (South Korea) See more »

Also Known As:

The Handmaiden See more »

Filming Locations:

Nagoya, Aichi, Japan See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

KRW 10,000,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$92,129, 23 October 2016, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,005,473, 17 February 2017

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,968,494, 22 January 2017
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Moho Film,Yong Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended) | (extended cut)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Aunt of Lady Hideko: [Reciting] 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...
See more »


Soundtracks

Four Small Silver Balls
Vocals by Min-hee Kim (as Kim Min-hee) & Tae-ri Kim
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Blue is the Warmest Color + Oldboy = The Handmaiden
10 August 2016 | by Brendan MichaelsSee all my reviews

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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