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The Handmaiden (18)
1st June 2017 7:45 pm
A handmaiden hired to look after a Japanese heiress in her luxury estate hides a multitude of dark secrets in this bold and visually stunning period thriller.
1930’s Korea, and a beautiful heiress named Hideko (Min-hee Kim) lives a strange and largely secluded life with her uncle, Kouzuki (Jin-woong Jo), in a decadent countryside estate. But Kouzuki is not your average tycoon uncle.
Vulgar, twisted and manipulative, he forces Hideko to entertain his male dinner guests by reading pornography out loud while they feast, much to her disgust.
Meanwhile, a conman masquerading as a nobleman by the name of Count Fujiwara (Jung-woo Ha), has his sights set on the family’s riches. Enlisting the help of a cunning pickpocket named Sookee (Tae-ri Kim), he arranges for the young thief to be employed as a handmaiden for Hideko so she can persuade the heiress to elope with Fujiwara and steal her fortune.
The plan seems to work, until Sookee and Hideko realise they are wildly attracted to one another, rather than the unsavoury men that dominate their lives. With sexual tension and deceit in the air, it’s only a matter of time before the twisted love triangle reaches breaking point.
The Handmaiden is an explosive erotic thriller with depth, and adapted from the novel Fingersmith by Sarah Waters.
Director Chan-wook Park is no stranger to producing thrillers that push the envelope, having written and directed Oldboy (2003) and Lady Vengeance (2005).
“Opulent, intricate and heady in the extreme” – Empire
“Bold, brilliant and beautiful” The Scotsman
“Smart, sumptuous and indulgent” – Time Out
“Fascinating, gorgeous and hugely entertaining” – The Guardian
Running time: 156 mins