"Oldboy" is one of my favorite foreign films of all time, so I was excited to see Park Chan-wook's newest film, "The Handmaiden". When it came to theaters, I contemplated traveling a far distance to see it, but decided against it, not wanting to travel too far only to be too uncomfortable. So, I rented it as soon as I could and was extremely pleased.
For the first hour of the film, I thought that the film was extremely well-made, but rather surface-level with its writing. After that, though, the film began to add layer upon layer, creating a complex mystery that was extremely interesting and engaging. The pacing is very good throughout, as is the tone, which is intriguing, with frequent changes from dark to light to a combination of the two.
The technical elements of this film are extremely impressive. The cinematography is absolutely beautiful. There are so many metaphorical shots that add depth to the characters, whereas others show the pure technical prowess of the director and cinematographer and their ability to tell a story in a visual way. The production design is also great, periodizing the film well. The score is quite interesting, going along with the tone, sometimes juxtaposing the imagery that we see on screen.
Overall, I think that "The Handmaiden" is an excellent film. It may be a bit overly sexualized in parts, but it redeemed by an extremely complex and interesting plot. I was very impressed.
Big Tuna's Rating: A
How Did I Watch It?: Digital rental.
Had I Seen It Before?: No.
Would I Watch It Again?: Yes.
I am a huge movie fan that wants to tell people about my very varying taste and opinion of film.