demi adejuyigbe’s review published on Letterboxd:
shit.... korean cinema be hittin different...
I think it's a little overlong and feels surprisingly (and ironically, given the story) male gaze-y at points, but goddamn this movie is amazing. It feels so much like a fairy tale. I haven't seen any of Park Chan-wook's other films (I know, I know, hush) but if it's anything like this, I'm in for a fucking ride real soon.
Strangely enough, I kept noticing how many things it had in common with the 2004 A Series of Unfortunate Events adaptation. (a lot of the camera movements, the fairy tale feeling, a story about a count in disguise
scamming a young woman into marriage for her inheritance, etc.) Is this me saying the 2004 A Series of Unfortunate Events adaptation is just as good as The Handmaiden? Is this me using my review of The Handmaiden to say that Jim Carrey, Luiz Guzman, Cedric the Entertainer, Jennifer Coolidge, and Meryl Streep deserve to be revered for their roles in Brad Silberling's critically-derided 2004 adaption of the first three books in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Eventsseries? Can't say!
(Also, the Netflix subtitles seem... off at some points? Contextually you can tell what they're supposed to be saying. But it feels like they just ran the script straight through Google Translate.)