The Handmaiden ★★★★★

it's the intricacies of this story that draw me in most - the seamless way it reveals characters that are far more than one-dimensional, deepens the plot without becoming difficult to follow and misleads the audience along with certain characters. i usually prefer films that feel more like a snapshot than a story, but park chan-wook's storytelling is so meticulously crafted, with endless attention paid to every detail, that it evokes the same feeling of falling into what it is you're watching as films focused on encapsulating a brief and specific mood, time or experience. forgetting the technicalities of the film, the themes it touches upon including deceit, desire and the male gaze (the library scene is beyond wonderful) are also endlessly engaging and worthwhile, adding purpose to an already absorbing story. this film is my baby, just as hideko is sookee's.

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