The Handmaiden (Chan-wook Park – 2016) A

It’s a well-crafted, really beautifully shot twisting and turning film. Set in the early 20th century Japanese-occupied Korea it is the story of three people, an heiress, her hand-maiden and her would-be husband. The fiance has plans to marry the rich heiress away from her creepy abusive uncle. The plan is hatched with the handmaiden who is supposed to encourage her to marry him after which the poor bride will be shut in an insane asylum and they make off with a fortune…that’s the plan from the first 15 minutes of this 2.5 hour movie. It is divided into three parts and varies perspectives in each one where in the end it comes together quiet beautifully and perfectly. It is a delight to see how skilled Park Chan-wook has become. He tells a complex story with clarity, attention to detail and excellent camera work.

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