The Handmaiden is a woman who is hired to a Japanese heiress, but secretly she is involved in a plot to defraud her. Sook-Hee (as Tae Ri Kim) is hired as a handmaiden to a Japanese heiress Lady Hideko (Min-hee Kim) who lives a secluded life on a large countryside estate with her domineering Uncle Kouzuki (Jin-woong Jo). It’s two hours and twenty four minute long movie that will win you over it did for me. What I liked about it only took five months to produce the whole movie where American movies take a longer time in producing.
The Handmaiden is divided into three parts, and revolves around a quartet of schemers
Kouzouki, a sadistic nobleman; the Count, a courtly con man; Hideko, the ice-cold Lady; and Sookee, an ambitious maid. Kouzouki (Cho Jin-woong) fetishizes Japanese society and maintains a library of pornography; of his many odious habits, the worst, perhaps, is that of licking his paintbrushes till his tongue is black as a chow’s. He has raised his niece Hideko (Kim Min-hee) to be his future wife and present assistant, requiring her to put on elaborate costumes and read erotica aloud to gentlemanly perverts.
Who is Director Park Chann-wook
Park Chann-wook is a writer and director, known for Oldboy (2003), Lady Vengeance (2005) and Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002). Director Park Chan-wook uses The Handmaiden as a Victorian crime novel as the loose inspiration. What matters is that each society boasts a wealth of codes, both social and criminal, and that there is fun to be had, as well as a rustle of danger, in crossing from one stratum to the next. Park is still best known for Oldboy the way his brutal 2003 fantasia about incest and revenge. His films are full of externalized violence that relies on a powerful internal order. This is one of the great pleasures of seeing Fingersmith translated to The Handmaiden is the way Park simplifies and organizes the central mechanism of the plot.