Imagine my surprise when I saw a Friday matinee of The Handmaiden when it suddenly turned into an very erotic film bordering on pornography. The theatre was almost empty. When I entered I smugly chose the middle seat four rows up in the same row as an older couple. One more gentleman entered before screening and another, an employee, came in halfway through the film. Next thing we know, the female protagonists where in a very naked embrace. Me likey. As one of them went down on the other and declared, as she stared enthralled at her partner, how beautiful it was, I just shook my head in agreement. Dang I haven't seen a movie like this in a while.

The Handmaiden is about the con. It about a pickpocket who gets a job as the personal maid of an upper crust lady. She's in cahoots with a swindler who is trying to woo the lady. Except it's not. It's about a lady who can not stand her life under her domineering uncle and is looking for a way out. She's in cahoots with the swindler to find a body double to kill so that she can run away scot free. I'm sorry if you read those sentences and think I spoiled it for you. I didn't. It's pretty twisted and convoluted that you will enjoy the story.

The big thing to say about this film is the sex. It is very real. I wonder how it was filmed. It must've been a very closed set. This isn't your average porno shoot with porno stars. These are real Korean actresses. It's wonder. If you need a taste of it, go look for erotic Japanese woodcuts. The scenes were filmed with them in mind. They mostly looked as though the director wanted to bring them to life. It's all highly erotic work.

But the story is good as well. Nice and twisty. Very noir-ish. It will keep you wondering. Overall, it reminds me of another slightly lesbian erotic thriller, Bound.

I feel like seeing it again.

4 of 5 stars.

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