The Handmaiden

The Handmaiden ★★★★★

96

*extended cut*

as a master of deception, park's latest and longest film, agassi (or the handmaiden) shows park pulling all the tricks in the book to make you fall in love with this film. it is a near perfect look at how to write a story, how to direct one and how to make one that will turn you head over heels with this story.

i won't be the first to say it, nor will i be the last: park chan-wook is a gifted director. i mean, as a former film critic, he's bound to notice aspects of the seventh art that us plebs just don't have an eye for. this isn't always the case (john green being a perfectly good example, and i say this being a fan of nerdfighteria), but park's perfected masterpiece of storytelling truly culminates in this film.

based on fingersmith by sarah waters, a period book set in the victorian era of london, park transcribes the piece to 1930s korea. in setting the film in a time period closer to home, park shows us his true talent in filmmaking: deception. from the moment we set foot in the japanese house, it's clear that there's more than meets the eye. we're not sure quite yet, and we certainly won't be ready for it when it comes, but all you, as a viewer, needs to know, is that this is a whirlpool of energy that will absorb you inwards.

this film is one that is truly difficult to describe without spoiling it and this is a film that will be ruined if i do spoil it, so i will not indulge myself within this review and just say: this has probably the perfect production design, cinematography, editing, score, script, acting and presentation i have ever seen in a film, period. sure, there are films that i love more, but this is a film that devours you instantly, and for that, i'm grateful i'm at least in for the ride.

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