Rent The Handmaiden (2016)

3.8 of 5 from 715 ratings
2h 20min
Rent The Handmaiden (aka Ah-ga-ssi) Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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In 1930s Korea, during Japanese occupation, Sookee (Tae-ri Kim) is hired as a handmaiden to a Japanese heiress who lives a secluded life on an enchanting and lavish estate with her domineering uncle. Yet Sookee has a secret, she has been recruited by a swindler posing as an illustrious Count to spy on the Lady so he can eventually seduce her and steal her fortune. However, this swindler is not the only one with a desire to seduce.
, , , , , , Si-yeon Ha, Ha-na Han, , , Eun-yeong Kim, , , Kyu-jung Lee, , Kim Si-eun, , Min-chae Yoo
Syd Lim, Chan-wook Park
Sarah Waters, Seo-Gyeong Jeong, Chan-wook Park
Angelina Jolie, Rithy Panh, Park Chan-Wook
Curzon / Artificial Eye
Drama, Romance, Thrillers
A Brief History of Lesbian Cinema, Award Winners, BAFTA Nominations Competition 2023, New waves of Korean Cinema, A Brief History of Film..., Top Films, What to watch by country

2018 BAFTA Best Foreign Film

Release Date:
Run Time:
140 minutes
English Audio Description, Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0, Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1, Korean Dolby Digital 2.0, Korean Dolby Digital 5.1
English, English Hard of Hearing
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.35:1
Release Date:
Run Time:
146 minutes
English Audio Description, Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Japanese LPCM Stereo, Korean DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Korean LPCM Stereo
English, English Hard of Hearing
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.35:1
BLU-RAY Regions:

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Reviews (18) of The Handmaiden

Superb Korean masterpiece - The Handmaiden review by AM

Spoiler Alert

Another example of how Korean cinema can teach Hollywood a thing or two about storytelling and exquisite imagery.

Beautifully directed and acted with ever fluctuating sensuality and intrigue. The story takes twists and turns and dead

ends in a sleight of hand manipulating allegiances all the way to the denouement.

13 out of 14 members found this review helpful.

Superb Korean Film - The Handmaiden review by PW

Spoiler Alert

As a fan of Korean films and having just watched “The Handmaiden” I can honestly say it is probably the best Korean film I have seen.

It is directed by the great Chan-wook Park, of ‘Oldboy’ fame and if you have seen any of his films before you will know that he is renowned for a particular style, with gorgeous cinematography and quirky plots, and he can never be accused of being restrained.

The Handmaiden is based upon the English novel ‘Fingersmith’ which was set in Victorian England but The Handmaiden translates the story to 1930s Korea when the country was under Japanese occupation. The subtitles are helpfully in yellow when Japanese is being spoken and white when it is Korean, and this is quite important to understanding the plot.

It tells the tale of a young girl from a family of thieves who takes part in a plot to defraud a rich Japanese heiress of her money by helping a crook who poses as a Count to marry her, put her into an asylum and steal her fortune. However the girl who is put into the role of the handmaiden starts to fall for her mistress and from then on things get complicated. I will not elaborate more on the plot as it is quite involved and full of unexpected twists. There is little more I could say without spoiling it.

The film is extraordinarily beautiful. It is sometimes said about films that each frame is like piece of art and this is very much the case here. The plot is intricate and twisty, the acting is superb, the costumes and sets are magnificent and the score is pretty damned good too. To me it was faultless.

But be warned. There are some extended scenes of quite explicit lesbian sex so if that sort of thing bothers you then it may not be for you. However these scenes are tastefully done and never vulgar. There are also some disturbing scenes of torture near the end so it is definitely not one to watch with the kids. The film is also two and a half hours in length but it had me gripped all the way through.

So if you like art house films of an adult nature, that explore love, treachery and some of the darker sides of humanity then I would highly recommend it. If you are someone who likes Hollywood style action films and can’t do subtitles then it wont be for you. Hollywood could never produce something like this.

The film gained widespread acclaim at the Cannes film festival and has a pretty decent 8.1 score on IMDB.

11 out of 12 members found this review helpful.

Korean Beauty - The Handmaiden review by nm

Spoiler Alert

Loved this film. It's sensual, gentle l and provocative. Very erotic without being sleazy. I enjoyed the storyline and it is beautifully shot. A love story with a difference.

10 out of 11 members found this review helpful.

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