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The Handmaiden Non-Spoilers Movie Review

 

The Handmaiden hands audiences a visually beautiful and intricate cinematic experience with color, framing, texture and tone.  Director Park Chan-wook serves up a story that is simple in nature, but extremely deceptive in detail.

Synopsis:  “With help from an orphaned pickpocket (Kim Tae-ri), a Korean con man (Ha Jung-woo) devises an elaborate plot to seduce and bilk a Japanese woman (Kim Min-hee) out of her inheritance.”

Movie Notes:

Director: Park Chan-wook

Box office: 35.2 million USD

Cinematography: Chung-hoon Chung

Languages: Korean, Japanese

OTHER CRITIC EXERCEPTS:

The Handmaiden is an erotic fantasy set in Korea in the 1930s that tries to ravish your senses so thoroughly you may not notice its sleights of hand. Full review

Manohla Dargis
The NYTimes
Commercial and arthouse audiences alike will either thrill to its stylized potboiler elements or swoon over the opiate influence of Park’s signature aesthetic beauty. Full review

Maggie Lee
Variety
That’s right: The extreme South Korean director of Oldboy and Stoker has made a love story, one where the lovers aren’t related or vampires or anything! Full review

A.A. Dowd
A.V. Club
Beginning with the architecture and the literary allusions, “The Handmaiden” is a riot of devious dualities. Full review

John Anderson
Wall Street Journal

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