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Past Films

The Handmaiden

  • Starring: Kim Tae-ri, Kim Min-hee, Jo Jin-woong, Ha Jung-woo
  • Director: Chan-wook Park
  • Genre(s): Drama, Romance
  • Languag(s): Japanese, Korean
  • Rating: NR
  • Running Time: 144 min.

1930s Korea, in the period of Japanese occupation, a new girl (Kim Tae-ri) is hired as a handmaiden to a Japanese heiress (Kim Min-hee) who lives a secluded life on a large countryside estate with her domineering Uncle (Jo Jin-woong). But the maid has a secret. She is a pickpocket recruited by a swindler posing as a Japanese Count (Ha Jung-woo) 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.

"It’s sybaritic, cruel and luridly mesmerizing. "
- Maggie Lee, Variety
"Absolutely gorgeous, with so much attention paid to every visual detail from the costumes to the mansion's many rooms."
- Edward Douglas, New York Daily News
"The Handmaiden is a fever dream from South Korean virtuoso Park Chan-wook, bursting with the kind of goodies that send cinephiles into ecstasy."
- Walter V. Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle
"Expectations are fully met in Park Chan-wook’s exquisitely filmed The Handmaiden (Agassi), an amusingly kinky erotic thriller and love story that brims with delicious surprises, making its two-and-a-half hours fly by."
- Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter
"The film reveals its twists and turns with a delicate hand and always manages to stay one step ahead of the audience, even as most of those watching will surrender to the hypnotic erotic charge that runs through the film."
- John Bleasdale, CineVue
"Starts out looking as if it'll be a deeply serious (and seriously depressing) tale of a Korean "comfort woman" forced to service the occupying Japanese military. After about five minutes of grandiose solemnity, Park drops the charade."
- Mike D'Angelo, AV Club
"The Handmaiden is just pure cinema, a dizzying, disturbing fable of love and betrayal that piles on luxurious imagery, while never losing track of its story's human core."
- David Sims, The Atlantic
"By replacing the class system of Victorian England with the dynamic of the occupier and occupied, Park has tapped into something uniquely complex about a chapter of history that is rarely explored. There is a deep, festering malady at the heart of The Handmaiden, exacerbated by idle fantasy, cultural projection and denial."
- Emily Yoshida, The Verge

Showtimes