• Name: The Handmaiden
• Year: 2016
• Country: USA/South Korea
• Director: Park Chan-wook
• Main cast: Kim Min-hee, Kim Tae-ri, Ha Jung-woo, Jo Jin-woong
• Runtime: 144 minutes
• Production company: Moho Film, Young Film
This Friday premieres in Spain the new Park Chan-wook movie, awarded in Sitges with the Grand Audience Award. The Korean director is well known for Oldboy (2003), film which has even an american remake from 2013, and a part of his trilogy dedicated to vengeance, a recurrent theme in his filmography that we also find in this his last movie, although in a much more subtle way.
I believe there are directors who characterise themselves by leaving a strong signature in their work, like using a same type of approach, similar themes, same characters… I believe with this movie Park Chan-wook sets a turning point, demonstrating versatility, and detaching himself from an attempt to categorise him.
With the storytelling art that he possesses, he transports us to a historical orient, a world captured in a mansion where japanese delicateness and english majestic colonialism converge. A mixture of cultures that also goes through the dialogue (as the original film languages are Korean and Japanese), and that configures the backdrop of a three-way plot; three are the main characters that, with their respective points of view, hatch a storyline of conspiracy, romances and mystery around the house. The main actors are great in their roles, and the generous details and art textures are a delight for the view and contribute to the realism of the tale.
This time the spectator doesn’t have his usual advantage from its privileged position as an observer, but on the contrary: he will be carried along by the story, eclipsed by the beauty of the palace, of the clothing, of the staging, of the protagonists; he’ll get swept up in the strength of femininity, in a game risqué and dangerous at the same time, as well as subtle as women’s character; he’ll go with the fantasy of an oriental tale, narrated by one of the cinema masters of our time. Just sit down, and enjoy the show.
IMDB URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4016934
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