The Handmaiden

The Handmaiden ★★★★

That is quite the fun cinematic romp!

Chan-wook has such a way with the moving camera; there are so many vertical pans in "The Handmaiden," which makes sense given that it's at least partly centred around point-of-view and power. Then, there is the doubling, not just in the character doppelgangers, but in the narrative as well, which repeats and doubles back on itself until the "super moon" conclusion.

Lady Hideko is aligned with death not just because of suicide but in how she brings death upon the men. One other intriguing aspect is all the vaginally-shaped compositions: when the Lady leans back, suspended with the dummy, together they form a V (or Y) shape; or the inverted V of the road-branch-canopy; and all the doorway slits, too. Our director wants to make it very clear that this film is about female sexuality.

"The Handmaiden" is also about death, distance and desire: unhinged. Imagine "Black Swan" meets "Sense and Sensibility" in Korea in the 1930s. :)

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