Dir Park Chan-wook

Diva (UK) - - Welcome | Contents - BY RENA BRAN­NAN (FILM) & ROXY BOUR­DIL­LON (ON­LINE)

Rena Bran­nan’s low-down on the hottest new re­leases

What do you get when you take Sarah Waters’ much-loved Vic­to­rian crime novel Finger­smith – a tale of les­bian in­trigue – and mix it with the in­gen­u­ous and tal­ented Korean di­rec­tor Park Chan-wook’s (Old­boy, Lady Vengeance) vi­sion? You get The Handmaiden. A beau­ti­fully crafted erotic thriller set in Ja­panese-oc­cu­pied Korea. The Handmaiden fits right in with Park’s ob­ses­sion with scopopho­bia (the fear of be­ing looked at) and cryp­to­pho­bia (the fear of se­crets). As one can ex­pect from Park, this cos­tume drama isn’t quite what it seems. What may be a sub­ver­sive tale about power and im­pe­ri­al­ism slowly be­comes a worm-turn­ing ca­per with as much lu­nacy and teeth-grind­ing sus­pense as the Wa­chowskis’ Bound. The Handmaiden is in­cred­i­bly po­tent view­ing, like hav­ing 50 bars of dark choco­late – a con­sum­ing plea­sure. Ini­tially sched­uled for a Fe­bru­ary re­lease, the film now hits UK the­atres in April. In cin­e­mas 14 April

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