The Handmaiden (Ah-ga-ssi) movie still
The Handmaiden (Ah-ga-ssi) movie poster

The Handmaiden (Ah-ga-ssi) (2016)

Drama, Thriller, Romance

Director: Chan-wook Park
Writers: Sarah Waters, Seo-kyeong Jeong, Chan-wook Park
Starring: Min-hee Kim, Tae-ri Kim, Jung-woo Ha, Jin-woong Jo

From legendary filmmaker Park Chan-wook (Oldboy, Stoker) comes an adaptation of a Victorian era crime novel that's set in 1930s' Japan-occupied Korea.
A charlatan posing as a count employs a pickpocket named Sook-hee as a maid for mentally unstable heiress Hideko, in an attempt to lay his hands on her fortune. Things do not go quite as planned, since an attraction between the two girls ensues, and a series of plot twists that eventually make up an unexpected and highly entertaining story.

Delivered with a dash of his typical dark humor, a fair amount of bare flesh and eroticism (be warned!), with an elaborate and intricate set design, a precise detail of costumes, an innovative use of color and light and shadows, and a brilliant cinematography, The Handmaiden ranks among Park's best films yet.

Plot summary from IMDb: 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.

Awards: 36 wins & 39 nominations.
Runtime: 144 min



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