The Handmaiden

The Handmaiden

The Handmaiden

A cunning plan goes awry in this romantic thriller from director Park Chan-wook (Oldboy). A pickpocket posing as the new maid of an heiress falls into an erotic relationship with her, derailing a conman's elaborate plan to rob her blind. In competition for the Palme d'Or at Cannes Film Festival 2016.

"1930s Korea, in the period of Japanese occupation, a new girl (Sookee) is hired as a handmaiden to a Japanese heiress (Hideko) who lives a secluded life on a large countryside estate with her domineering Uncle (Kouzuki). But the maid has a secret. She is a pickpocket recruited by a swindler posing as a Japanese Count to help him seduce the Lady to elope with him, rob her of her fortune, and lock her up in a madhouse. The plan seems to proceed according to plan until Sookee and Hideko discover some unexpected emotions." (Cannes Film Festival)

2016Rating: R16, Violence, offensive language and sex scenes144 minsSouth KoreaKorean and Japanese with English subtitles
DramaThrillerRomanceWorld CinemaFestival & Independent
92%
want to see

Streaming (1 Providers)

Reviews & comments

Engrossing

Beautiful cinematography, a mesmerising score, sensational performances, an endlessly engrossing plot and pacing on par with 'The Departed', The Handmaiden is not only one of the years best foreign films, but one of the best films of the year period.

4.0

Like a noose around your neck

As bizarre as Korean films can be, this is right up there with all of them. Beautifully shot and acted. Full of sex and violence. A must see of any fans of his previous films. Disturbing twisting and twisted in the best way.

4.0
Variety

Variety

press

It’s sybaritic, cruel and luridly mesmerizing.

Time Out

Time Out

press

Mostly, this is smart, sumptuous and wonderfully indulgent.

4.0
The Telegraph

The Telegraph

press

Shifts from being a lascivious slice of art-house delirium to a gruelling, dislikable contraption which meretriciously sells out its source material.

2.0
The Guardian

The Guardian

press

The impotency of the male characters helps to counter this while the sex scenes themselves, as lovingly shot as they might be, feel vital to the narrative.

4.0
Stuff

Stuff

press

A haunting, beguiling and rousing drama that is not for the faint-hearted or prudish.

Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

An amusingly kinky erotic thriller and love story that brims with delicious surprises, making its two-and-a-half hours fly by.

Variety

Variety

press

It’s sybaritic, cruel and luridly mesmerizing.

Time Out

Time Out

press

Mostly, this is smart, sumptuous and wonderfully indulgent.

4.0
The Telegraph

The Telegraph

press

Shifts from being a lascivious slice of art-house delirium to a gruelling, dislikable contraption which meretriciously sells out its source material.

2.0
The Guardian

The Guardian

press

The impotency of the male characters helps to counter this while the sex scenes themselves, as lovingly shot as they might be, feel vital to the narrative.

4.0
Stuff

Stuff

press

A haunting, beguiling and rousing drama that is not for the faint-hearted or prudish.

Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

An amusingly kinky erotic thriller and love story that brims with delicious surprises, making its two-and-a-half hours fly by.

Engrossing

Beautiful cinematography, a mesmerising score, sensational performances, an endlessly engrossing plot and pacing on par with 'The Departed', The Handmaiden is not only one of the years best foreign films, but one of the best films of the year period.

4.0

Like a noose around your neck

As bizarre as Korean films can be, this is right up there with all of them. Beautifully shot and acted. Full of sex and violence. A must see of any fans of his previous films. Disturbing twisting and twisted in the best way.

4.0