‘The Handmaiden’ Blu-ray Review

Stars: Tae-ri Kim, Min-hee Kim, Ha Jung-woo, Cho Jin-woong | Written by Chung Seo-kyung, Park Chan-wook | Directed by Park Chan-wook

Based on Sarah Waters’ 2002 novel, Fingersmith, Park Chan-wook’s first feature since 2013’s Stoker is a ravishing feminist fable, full of fantastically cruel twists. It’s sensual, funny, nasty, brilliantly acted, beautifully shot and exquisitely edited.

The setting is 1930s colonial Korea, slap bang in the middle of Japanese rule. Nam Sook-hee (Tae-ri Kim), a young pickpocket, is approached by smooth conman “Count Fujiwara” (Ha Jung-woo), who intends to swindle money from a wealthy Korean aristocrat known as Uncle Kouzuki (Cho Jin-woong). The plan is for Fujiwara to seduce Kouzuki’s niece, Izumi Hideko (Min-hee Kim), and steal away with her uncle’s cash. Sook-hee will act as Hideko’s handmaiden, and help manipulate Hideko into Fujiwara’s arms.

But then an intimate relationship blooms between Hideko and Sook-hee. It seems
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