The Handmaiden ★★★

tbh don't really want to be that one woke person but I rly can't help it. I honestly expected more since my friend circle is so hyped up about this film. While definitely the storytelling is masterful and gripping (besides the confusing 3rd act lmao), I feel so conflicted about the representation of lesbian sex in this movie.

I've read all the articles about how it suppose to be subservient and satirical what not but still :/ the way this film (and the camera gaze) constantly appeal itself to cis male gaze pleasure left me feeling unease, no matter for what satirical/dark comic reason. It feels like it's so busy appeasing to the mass that at times it loses its perspective in depicting glorified sex and violence, and forgot to care for the minorities LGBT community and people with trauma - the community is directly addressed. Intended for the market rather than for LGBT people, I could imagine it being triggering and commodified, while offerring little to uplift for people who have gone through trauma within the community.

Vengence in movies doesn't have real agency or repatriation - after all, a movie is a movie, not a political upheaval, and vengence stops at the edge of the screen. Trauma and seeing the reenactment of violence on screen do last a long time and can leave deep wounds though. Who is this film made for, who is benefiting, and who remains hurting from it??? Does it offer any justice, truly speaking? Or is it just another piece of entertainment rooted in the male, straight, violent way at looking at lesbian women in the hollow name of #representation and do little to address the nuances of queer experience besides offering a blood-soaked thrilling vengeance story? Not only the depiction of sex/violence, but also that depiction of love is lacking - the love development between these two women feels so forced and rushed, addressed from a man's point of imagination rather than from a queer perspective in my opi. I'm not saying I hate this film completely, there's still some interesting and valid character choices, I just feel unease with its lack of care for the community that it is addressing and lack of care for its audience in reenacting violent gaze/storyline through the film.

It makes me think a lot about the whole Kent Monkman situation- certainly its not as intense of a situation, but still something to think thourgh www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/kent-monkman-backlash-trudeau-painting-1.5577452

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