The poet of cruelty, the virtuoso of violence, the maker of a vengeance trilogy with Old Boy at the helm, Park Chan-wook is back and this time is using a Sarah Waters novel as the basis for his film. The Handmaiden is a loose adaptation of the Welsh writer's best-selling novel Fingersmith. The director moves the action to Korea in the 1930s. A low-born thief decides to trick a rich Japanese aristocrat into falling in love with her in order to steal her assets. In order to do this, she places a con-artist-the eponymous handmaiden-in her employ. However, the relationship between the two women intensifies. Seen from different perspectives, the intrigue changes radically from minute to minute. The Korean director creates a criminal love story in which nothing is clear. The Handmaiden is a story about a love triangle, desire, sexual fantasies, and sophisticated revenge. Park Chan-wook makes references to psychoanalysis and works from both Japanese and European culture to create a picture of repressed sexuality that is anything but obvious. At the same time, he does nothing to give up his signature violence.
Park Chan-wook is a Korean director and screenwriter. He studied Philosophy at the University of Sogan. He began directing after climbing the film-career ladder. He was an on-set assistant and dealt with distribution before finally making his debut as a 29-year-old with The Moon Is... The Sun's Dream in 1992. He plays with genres and archetypes in his films, while also specializing in cinematic cruelty. He directed a famous vengeance trilogy that included Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy, and Lady Vengeance. In Hollywood, he made Stoker starring Mia Wasikowska and Nicole Kidman.
1992 Daleun... haega kkuneun kkum / The Moon Is... the Sun's Dream
2002 Pan Zemsta / Boksuneun naui geot / Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance
2003 Oldboy / Oldeuboi
2005 Pani Zemsta / Chinjeolhan geumjassi / Lady Vengeance
2006 Jestem cyborgiem i to jest ok / Ssa-i-bo-geu-ji-man-gwen-chan-a / I'm a Cyborg, but That's OK
2016 Służąca / Agassi / The Handmaiden