VIFF 2016: The Handmaiden

(South Korea)

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      Oldboy director Park Chan-wook almost abandons hard-core violence and cephalopods, channelling instead the soft-core erotica of inspired ’70s pervs like Walerian Borowczyk for this sumptuous adaptation of Sarah Waters’s novel Fingersmith.

      Moving the action to ’30s Korea, our titular (in all senses) handmaiden is actually a pickpocket hired to assist a con man in bilking the fortune from a Japanese heiress, trained from childhood to read literary pornography to her uncle, to whom she’s also betrothed.

      Sapphic love and betrayal ensue, if things aren’t already kinky enough, all of it composed with such typically devastating attention to craft that you and your inflamed libido will desire a second two-and-a-half-hour viewing pretty much immediately.

      Whether this is Park’s best film is up for debate, but it could be in the running for your new favourite.


      Places to go nearby

      Approx. 15 minutes away