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Marina Antunes [Celluloid 05.05.16] Republic of Korea thriller drama



When Park Chan-wook makes a movie, I pay very close attention. The Korean director behind Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy, Lady Vengeance, Thirst and Stoker (review) among many others, has proven to be a master filmmaker who revels in challenging audiences and his latest appears to be just as interesting as anything else he's presented us with.


Premiering in competition at Cannes, The Handmaiden is an adaptation of Sarah Waters' best selling novel of murder and mystery set in Victoria Era Britain but Chan-wook's version is re-imagined as a modernized Korean tale in which a young woman is lured by a con-man into a con which will see the young woman become the handmaiden of a wealthy and naïve woman, secure her inheritance and pass off the gentlewoman as a kook who will spend the rest of her days in an asylum. All is well until the handmaiden takes pity on her mark and takes the con off course.


The first trailer suggests The Handmaiden will deliver a dark, twisted, psychologically unsettling and sexually charged tale; exactly the kind of thing we've come to expect from Chan-wook. It's rather appropriate that the excellent trailer is cut to Vessel's "Red Sex."



Hopefully we'll have some news on the movie's release after its Cannes debut.



Recommended Release: Stoker


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