Ah-ga-ssi [The Handmaiden] (2016)

Director: Chan-wook Park
Writer: Seo-kyeong Jeong, Chan-wook Park
Based on: Sarah Waters’ novel Fingersmith
Cast: Min-hee Kim, Tae-ri Kim, Jung-woo Ha, Jin-woong Jo, Hae-suk Kim, So-ri Moon
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 25.9.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Sook-Hee (Tae-ri Kim) lives with her adoptive family who ply their trade as thieves and with various cons. When a regular collaborator with them, called Count Fujiwara (Jung-woo Ha), suggests a new con, Sook-Hee suddenly finds herself training to become a maid to the rich Hideko (Min-hee Kim), one of the Japanese occupiers in Korea. Hideko lives in a remote estate with her uncle Kouzuki (Jin-woong Jo), an avid book collector. The Count was a guest of theirs and saw the perfect opportunity: he would marry Hideko and then get rid of her, but keep her money. All he needs is a confidante who makes sure that Hideko makes the right decisions. And so Sook-Hee travels to the estate to make sure their plan goes off without a hitch.

I expected many things from the film, since I both loved the book it’s based on and Park’s Vengeance Trilogy and Stoker. Happily it all managed to keep up with my expectations. It’s a beautiful and gripping film.

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