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Review Korean Film: The Handmaiden

Source : Wikipedia

“The Handmaiden” is a stunning cinematic masterpiece directed by Park Chan-wook, based on Sarah Waters’ novel “Fingersmith” but set in early 20th-century Korea during the Japanese colonial period. The film mesmerizes with its extraordinary visuals, intricate narrative, and stellar performances, drawing viewers into a world of intrigue and deception.

The Handmaiden tells the story of a young Korean woman named Sookee (played by Kim Tae-ri) who is recruited by a con artist named Count Fujiwara (played by Ha Jung-woo) to become a maid for a rich heiress named Lady Hideko (played by Kim Min- hey). In his plan, Fujiwara tried to get close to Lady Hideko, marry her, and then lock her up in a mental hospital to control her wealth.

However, as time goes by, Sookee and Lady Hideko become involved in a complicated and unexpected relationship. The two fall in love, ruining Fujiwara’s plans and taking the story in an unexpected direction. With unexpected plot twists and a love story full of intrigue, The Handmaiden tempts the audience to discover the truth behind deception and betrayal.

One thing that immediately steals the attention in The Handmaiden is the extraordinary visual direction by Park Chan-wook. Every scene in this film is like a living painting that captures the beauty and tension in every detail. From the beautiful landscapes of the carefully landscaped gardens to the intimate scenes inside the elegant Victorian home, every frame of this film is filled with stunning beauty.

The use of color in this film also deserves a thumbs up. Park Chan-wook uses a rich and varied color palette to build an atmosphere that matches the ongoing emotions in the story. From bright colors that reflect freedom to dark shades that convey darkness of heart, every color on screen contributes greatly to the atmosphere of the film.

Not only from a visual perspective, the acting in The Handmaiden is also extraordinary. Kim Tae-ri and Kim Min-hee convey their roles as Sookee and Lady Hideko with extraordinary emotional depth. Kim Tae-ri manages to capture the innocence and strength of Sookee’s character very well, while Kim Min-hee brings Lady Hideko with a touching vulnerability.

The chemistry between these two actresses also deserves thumbs up. They managed to capture the complex dynamics between their characters, from the initial tension to the naturally growing intimacy. In romantic scenes, they managed to convey their feelings of love and desire so strongly that the audience couldn’t help but be carried away by their emotions.

One of the main strengths of The Handmaiden is its plot which is full of intrigue and surprises. The film is divided into three parts, each providing a different perspective on the same story. Each installment takes the audience deeper into the web of deceit and betrayal that runs rampant among its main characters.

The plot twist in this film is very satisfying. Park Chan-wook manages to lead the audience in the wrong direction cleverly, so that when the truth is finally revealed, it feels very satisfying. The intrigue of this story not only provides suspense and surprises, but also provides a deep reflection on human strength and fragility, as well as the complexity of love and desire.

Overall, The Handmaiden is a stunning work of art. With brilliant visual direction, impressive acting, and a plot filled with intrigue, this film manages to create an unforgettable cinematic experience. While it may not be suitable for all audiences due to some explicit scenes and the complexity of the story, for those who appreciate beautiful artwork and deep storytelling, The Handmaiden is a must-watch.

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