The Handmaiden Review

the handmaiden review

This film is best described using a particular 11 letter word, beginning with “M,” and ending in “E.” It’s absolutely hypnotic and all-consuming brilliant. I was not expecting such a high level of sexuality (we’re in Blue is the Warmest Color territory, here…) and because the storytelling was just so damn confident and controlled, I was swept up by the intensely realized visuals conjured up by director Park Chan Wook and his sensational cinematographer Chung Chung-hoon, and as a result, never saw the various plot twists coming. The less you know about this film the better, but I’ll allow that it offers up incredible performances, stunning production design, high emotion, and ultimately grand storytelling. Available on Blu-ray/DVD and via various streaming providers. A director’s extended edition is also available, adding 25 minutes of footage into an already 2 hour and 25 minute film. Must track that version down soon!

Review by Nick Clement

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