The Handmaiden (PG) **** – By Shirl Hollenberg

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Schemers!

the-handmaidenCriminals have a unique knack to get under peoples’ skin. A low level entrepreneur with big criminal plans wreaks havoc in a number of people’s lives in The Handmaiden. Fresh from South Korea this dynamic thriller is smart and sensual. Let’s thank Mongrel Media for having the good sense to import this head turner that voyeurs and fans if classy cinema can enjoy at select Cineplex Odeon theatres around B.C.

What The Handmaiden is all about is making the most out of an opportunity. This sense The Count is on top of his game plan. Blessed with a good business sense our man makes his living living off of prostitutes and a variety of low level petty criminals. Imagine the gifted con artist’s delight when he learns all about a rich Japanese recluse and the household’s need for a new maid.

Slow and steady does the game get played with the best card dealt to a hand-picked girl whose job is to infiltrate a estate and hatch an elaborate plan to plunder the historical wealth. Lust and love come into play big time here as the alliances are played fast and loose and even get a bit kinky at times.

Some very hit sensual signs help drive the plot forward with enough surprises to make  us take notice, keeping us on the edge of our seats throughout the course of this  gorgeously shot 2 hours and twenty-one minute movie that features just superb acting with plenty of provocative moments sure to stir the pot. If you like smart sexy thrillers they don’t get more sensual or much better than this.  Even the English subtitles are not that bothersome as you get caught up in the hysteria of the times.