After India's father dies, her Uncle Charlie, whom she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her unstable mother. She comes to suspect this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives and becomes increasingly infatuated with him.
1930s Korea, in the period of Japanese occupation, a new girl (Sookee) is hired as a handmaiden to a Japanese heiress (Hideko) who lives a secluded life on a large countryside estate with her domineering Uncle (Kouzuki). But the maid has a secret. She is a pickpocket recruited by a swindler posing as a Japanese Count to help him seduce the Lady to elope with him, rob her of her fortune, and lock her up in a madhouse. The plan seems to proceed according to plan until Sookee and Hideko discover some unexpected emotions.Written by
During shooting, Tae-ri Kim ran around exploring things, while Min-hee Kim was quietly in her own world. Park and Jung-woo Ha (who played the Count) thought Tae-ri was like a puppy and Min-hee was like a cat, somewhat resembling their characters in the film. See more »
Mercury is a slow (typically chronic not acute) poison that will kill victims over a period of days not within minutes. Metallic mercury in the tiny amounts presented would not be lethal at all in the circumstances shown. See more »
But, for sending me Sookee out of all the girls in the world, I feel 'slightly' grateful.
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During the credits, the moon on the wall in the background shifts from full to new. See more »
Extended version runs approx. 21 minutes longer. See more »
"The Handmaiden" is a crazily imaginative and beautiful movie by Chan-wook Park, who is at the top of his game in this story of a pickpocket that tries to steal the fortune of a naive, innocent rich woman that has been secluded in a mansion in the middle of nowhere. Of course, things will start to get complicated soon enough.
Chan-wook Park has done a great job in adapting the original novel by Sarah Waters, and mixing it with the history of the Japanese invasion of Korea at the beginning of the twentieth century. The plot is a little bit silly sometimes, but Chan-wook Park makes it all tight and fast-paced, and even the most silly moment becomes a moment of beauty and fun. From the first moment, the viewer will be enthralled by the story of these two women and their relationship, and every plot development will just add fun to the whole.
If the plot and the direction weren't amazing enough, the movie is as beautiful as they come. From the darkest moment, the most violent, to the most intimate, beauty transpires in every frame, and every scene comes to life and threatens to pop and break free from the screen. This is helped by the amazing work of all the cast, who does an incredible job in bringing this tale to life (it could be criticized, though, some of the heavily accented Japanese, for characters that are supposed to be able to pass as them).
All in all, "The Handmaiden" is proof that a movie can have a plot, amazing direction, acting, scenery, craziness and the most beautiful package possible. And even if it is almost two hours and a half long, it feels like a breeze.
You will fall in love with this movie. Just plain great.
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