Movie Review – The Handmaiden (2016)

The Handmaiden, 2016.

Directed by Park Chan-wook

Starring Min-hee Kim, Tae-ri Kim, Jung-woo Ha, and Jin-woong Jo.


Japanese heiress Hideko employs a new handmaiden, Sook-hee, but what she doesn’t know is that the girl is a pickpocket. She’s been recruited by a con artist who aims to marry her mistress and swindle her out of her fortune. The plot seems to be going according to plan, until Hideko starts to fall for her maid.

For Victorian England, read Korea under Japanese occupation in the 1930s. Oldboy director Park Chan-wook has taken Sarah Waters’ 2002 novel Fingersmith and changed its location and timing, turning it into luxurious thriller with more twists and turns than the writhing octopus that one of the characters keeps crammed into an all-too-small tank. The result is The Handmaiden, the director’s first Korean film after Stoker.

Sook-hee (Tae-ri Kim) comes from poverty, the daughter of a notorious pickpocket.
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