The Handmaiden movie review: the women pushing back against misogyny, thwarted by their own film

MaryAnn’s quick take… The intrigue, shifting alliances, and twisted revenge? Delicious, pulpy fun. The male-gazey soft-core porn that undermines the female protagonists? Not so much. I’m “biast” (pro): I’m desperate for stories about women

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

I have not read the source material

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

In Japanese-occupied 1930s Korea, a Korean con man (Jung-woo Ha) and a Korean pickpocket (Tae-ri Kim) conspire to steal the fortune of sheltered Japanese heiress Lady Hideko (Min-hee Kim). He will pose as “Count Fujiwara” and woo Hideko, while thief Sook-Hee will become Hideko’s shy new maid “Tamako” and convince the lady to run off with the handsome and romantic count instead of marrying her hideous widowed uncle-by-marriage Kouzuki (Jin-woong Jo), who of course is (also) only after his niece’s money. The plan is, after “Fujiwara” and Hideko are wed,
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