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The Handmaiden

Be Gay Do Crimes


Release date: June 1, 2016
Director: Park Chan-wook
Language: Korean, Japanese

Who should watch this movie: David Fincher fans. People who don’t like horror. The gays. 

When should you watch this movie: When the patriarchy has got you down again. When you want to watch something romantic and your friend/partner wants to watch something scary. 

The sell: It’s difficult to write about this movie without giving too much away. The twists and turns of plot make it imperative to avoid even the smallest spoiler. What I Can say is that this movie exists at the intersection of psychological thriller, erotica, and historical political commentary. You will have no idea what’s going on until the very end. In part due to the convoluted story but more to do with the tight, intimate, cinematography, this movie burns slowly and calmly. It is clear from the start that something dark and intense resides just below the surface of what the audience can see, and revelation of that darkness occurs piece by piece as if being lead by a trail of breadcrumbs. Parts of this movie are scary, other parts are sweet. Kim Min-hee as Lady Hideko is both, delivering lines with impassive grace and soft power. This movie will leave you with your jaw on the floor and is an endless wellspring of dinner conversation topics provided all members are at least 18 years or older. 


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