The Handmaiden (2016)

This well acclaimed Korean film boasts of a story that is twisted in more ways than one. 

It’s a mind boggling thriller, an unconventional romance drama that defys norms and despite its shocking sexual content, is regarded as a brilliant piece of cinema.

Director – Park Chan-wook

Cast – Kim Min-hee, Kim Tae-ri, Ha jung-woo, Cho Jin-woong

Based on – Fingersmith by Sarah Waters 


The film opens to show a poor girl Sook-Hee joining as a handmaiden to a Japanese Heiress Hideko. Hideko lives with her uncle Kouzuki who plans to wed her for her fortune, while a rich Count Fujiwara also has his heart set out for the heiress.

There is a fortune to be acquired. There’s greed and depravity at play. There are layers and facades to characters. But there’s love that blossoms amidst all this.

Watch this unpredictable, layered, twisted, kinky story to know whether love conquers… and whose !


The film has aced in all departments that have come together to give us an impactful film that leaves a lingering effect on the mind.

The narrative’s brilliance is something that has to be experienced to be understood. 

Everything opens up in layers. When the next layer opens, you find yourself calibrating and looking at the same situation from a different angle and the same character in a different perspective. And when you think you have been given the revelation, you realise that there’s more to come.

While tightly wound up in this suspenseful and extremely engaging narration, you revel in the luxurious detailed setting and sets, the costumes, the performances and the awesome background score.

I must mention that the film contains some extreme sexual content but surprisingly and appreciatively, the film does not use it for the erotic quotient. It is quite an intrinsic part of characterisation and how the story pans out. While it was shocking, the overall excellence and the quality of the film surpasses that discomfiture. 

This well-applauded thriller, coming from an acclaimed director, with its exceptional storytelling, sure leaves a long lasting impression. 

2 thoughts on “The Handmaiden (2016)

  1. Watching international cinema is the logical next step to developing a further appreciation of cinema & its techniques. It’ll really help your readers to broaden their horizons.

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