Film Review: THE HANDMAIDEN (South Korea 2016) ***

Festival Reviews

the_handmaiden_posterTHE HANDMAIDEN (South Korea 2016) ***
Directed by Park Chan-wook

Starring: Min-hee Kim, Jung-woo Ha, Jin-woong Jo

Review by Gilbert Seah

South Korean helmer Park Chan-wook, known for his excellent thriller OLDBOY returns with another suspense thriller, this time adapting Sarah Waters’ Victorian England-set bestseller Fingersmith to Japanese-occupied Korea in the 1930s. The adaptation works with a few flaws but the result is nevertheless something completely different – a historical drama that turns out to be both an erotically charged thriller and a lesbian romance, with sex scenes rivalling BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOUR.
Park’s film is told in three chapter’s from the points of view of the story’s three characters. The film contains lots of flashbacks, with each flashback containing possibly a different meaning to the story than when the scene first appears. It is tight and clever editing, but too many of these lend to a bit of…

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