Thursday, May 30, 2019

1067. The Handmaiden

The Handmaiden
Directed by Park Chan-wook

Fingersmith has been on my book list for years and after seeing this movie I am definitely moving it up to the top. Perhaps I'll feel like less of a pervert reading the story than I did watching it.

In Japan-occupied Korea, Count Fujiwara plans on seducing Lady Hideko, a Japanese heiress and stealing her inheritance. He hires a pickpocket, Sook-hee, to be Hideko's handmaiden, so she can persuade Hideko to marry Fujiwara. Sexy times and then not so sexy times ensue.

I don't mean to imply that you are a pervert if you enjoy this. I think in some scenes the director was drawing comparisons between the film's audience and all the perverted voyeurs in the story (with Hideko's uncle obviously taking home the Creepie). As far as the lesbian sex scenes go...I'm not sure how much it added to the story to know the particulars of their sex lives. I wanted Hideko to experience a sexual awakening as much as the next man...well, actually, the next straight man might have wanted it a bit more. But I am not sure I had to know the particulars or for the "particulars" to go on as long as they did.

There were beautiful scenes in this film, but of course because it's Park Chan-wook, there were also plenty of scenes where I wanted to cover my eyes. Oddly, it still manages to be a rather sweet movie.

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

No male crew member was present during the lesbian sex scenes.

Sarah Waters, who wrote Fingersmith, approved of the script but requested the filmmakers say the movie was merely "inspired by" her novel.

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