The Handmaiden

"Deliciously perverse, delightfully twisty, and unapologetically erotic." - James Berardinelli, ReelViews

“Expectations are fully met in Park Chan-wook’s exquisitely filmed The Handmaiden (Agassi), an amusingly kinky erotic thriller and love story that brims with delicious surprises, making its two-and-a-half hours fly by.

“The screenplay by Park and Chung Seo-kyung is a kind of meta-reading of Sarah Waters’ 2002 novel Fingersmith, which tells the story of a girl from the slums in Victorian England who becomes an expert pickpocket, until drawn into a double-cross by a gentleman-swindler. Park’s playful reworking relocates the sting to 1930s Asia, where a Korean girl with bad intentions infiltrates the household of a wealthy young Japanese heiress. But nothing in the story goes as planned.

“Told in three parts and from multiple points of view like a modern-day Rashomon, the narrative soon dissolves into an elusive fantasy-spoof that is not just erotic, but deeply ironic. The continually changing perspective on events may disorient the casual viewer, and it is certainly a film that bears a second viewing. Audiences who are up to a challenge are guaranteed a good time.” -The Hollywood Reporter


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