The Handmaiden: acclaimed Korean film


The Handmaiden review – Park Chan-wook’s lurid lesbian potboiler simmers with sexual tension

The acclaimed Korean film-maker’s latest is an erotic thriller that prioritises female sexuality, and exquisite set design, to intoxicating effect

It was inaccurately thought by some, who had clearly never read a single sentence of the source novel, that Sam Taylor Johnson’s glossy adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey would be a seminal Hollywood moment for female sexuality. Hopes that it would be “bravely” thrusted to the forefront were quickly dashed, whipped and spanked once it was predictably revealed to be a film about, duh, male control.

Park Chan-wook’s last film Stoker, his first foray into Hollywood, had Mia Wasikowska’s burgeoning killer masturbate after helping to murder her attempted rapist, a fascinatingly perverse scene that acts as something of a precursor to his latest. The rare focus on a woman’s experience of sex without a man involved is key in his adaptation of Sarah Waters’ award-winning novel Fingersmith, which relocates the story from Victorian Britain to 1930s Korea.

A con artist, calling himself Count Fujiwara, hatches a devious plan that sees him working alongside pickpocket Sook-hee to steal the many riches of beautiful heiress Lady Hideko. Isolated and bullied into an impending marriage with her uncle, Hideko takes on Sook-hee as her handmaiden. But while Sook-hee’s task is getting her new mistress to fall for the “Count”, she finds herself sexually drawn instead.

Read further @ The Guardian

~ by eneryvibes on 1,May 24, 2016.

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