October 18th, 2016 by PRatt
December 4, 2016 @ 7:30 pm

(South Korea, 2016) (Ah-ga-ssi) Directed by Park Chan-wook. Screenplay by Chung Seo-kyung, Park Chan-wook, based on the novel Fingersmith by Sarah Waters. Cast: Kim Min-hee, Kim Tae-ri, Ha Jung-woo, Cho Jin-woong, Kim Hae-sook, Moon So-ri.

Like a hip hop musical based on Alexander Hamilton, The Handmaiden is one of those cultural mash-ups that you can’t even imagine until you can’t live without it. Welsh novelist Sarah Waters’ novel Fingersmith follows a Victorian orphan girl-turned-pickpocket, who is engaged by a gold digger to befriend the heiress he wishes to marry and then discard in an asylum. Park Chan-wook transports the story to 1930s Korea, and Japanese colonialism. When the cheerfully “common” pickpocket (played by Kim Tae-ri) and the languorously sensual Japanese heiress (Kim Min-hee) meet, their mutual desire is only matched by their duplicity of their hearts. 144 min.
“The secret of the film… is its love of secrets. The men and women guard their stratagems like jewels, and their lusts like hidden fires.”ßß Anthony Lane, The New Yorker.

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