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The Handmaiden (2016)

Ah-ga-ssi (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Romance, Thriller | 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
932 ( 130)
Top Rated Movies #229 | Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 61 wins & 96 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)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Before filming, director Park sent the completed script to source writer Sarah Waters for comments. Waters liked the script but felt that it is more appropriate to say that the film was ''inspired by" the novel Fingersmith. See more »

Goofs

In the hotel scene in Part Three, the Seiko Solar wristwatch Lady Hideko glances at was not introduced until the 1980s. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Count Fujiwara: Even like this, dying is a luxury.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the credits, the moon on the wall in the background shifts from full to new. See more »

Alternate Versions

Extended version runs approx. 21 minutes longer. See more »

Connections

References Oldboy (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Pieces for Harpsichord: Suite in E minor, Tambourin
By Jean-Philippe Rameau
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Korean legend returns; more debauched than ever, but funnier too.
7 October 2016 | by jvanhuys1988See all my reviews

I saw this tonight at London Film Festival and Park Chan Wook was there, to answer Q&A. A very special moment to me.

I would advise anyone new to Park Chan-Wook's filmography to first explore his vampire flick 'Thirst' which has a similar style. 'Oldboy' is a cult classic, but more of an opium-filled, octopus eating thrill-ride, which this film is NOT, so be advised. I also think having SOME knowledge of Japanese rule in Korea is essential for understanding this film, or it will be above your head. Do some surface-level research on Japanese annexation of Korea and specifically the infamous 'comfort women'.

Completed that? OK now you're ready for this journey.

Now let's focus on the best part. The villain. This IS the best villain in recent memory. Seriously as far back as Hannibal Lecter. Uncle Kouzuki, is more creepy than Burton's Penguin. Compulsory viewing. I cannot mention anymore out of fear for spoiling the intricate plot. Highly recommended.


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