The Handmaiden

The Handmaiden ★★★★½

“Realistic. Only if you stop looking at it as a plain object. Meaning perspective must be considered"

And I thought Chihiro in Spirited Away had a hard time doing the whole maid thing. The Handmaiden is fucked. Object and substance deepen into the image. Formed through buildings and shapes, bending foreground, background, time and sound dimensionally like a staircase. The camera levitates around, a ubiquitous eye with a keen spatial awareness. Curving the direction in ways that feel effortlessly smooth and natural, but this jazzy and dapper buoyancy or rich style doesn’t get in the way of anything. Giving you all the time you need to soak up the steady and subdued shots. Park Chan Wook’s visual language matches this beautifully dark and radiant film so crisply. His direction is fatally scrupulous and absolute. Something as representative of its heritage as The Assassin. But less ethereal and more precise and surreal. The Handmaiden is a sexually charged beast that is an all encapsulating work of art, treachery, and badass suaveness.

AlexDavies liked these reviews