I…Dear Readers, I…
Thank you to all who were kind enough and almost equally as excited as I am for this movie, to send me all those alerts, messages and comments letting me know that ‘The Handmaiden’ is out and about.
Yes, ‘The Handmaiden’. I don’t even care anymore what it is called! I don’t care that I have not even gone through 30% of the movie yet. Nothing matters anymore. ‘The Handmaiden’ is truly, finally, without a single doubt – My All Time Favourite Movie! I can say right now I doubt any movie shall ever exist to take its place! The only way this might be topped, is if Christopher Nolan, Park Chan-wook, The Pang Brothers and Takashi Miike all came together to make yet another adaptation of Fingersmith! That, is the only way another movie could ever hope to de-throne this movie!
And I have not yet gone past the 40min mark!
It is now 7am here in Dublin. I started watching this movie at 3am in the night! It has taken me 4 freakin hours to get through 40mins of the 2h25min of heavenly goodness!
Then why am I wasting time writing this when I should be watching the rest of the movie?
Um, hello! Who do you think I am? A superhero? I am only human. How you expect me to get through this movie in one seating blows my mind! I have simply given up because my whole being cannot simply handle this movie! It has taken me 4 hours to watch 40mins of footage and my mind still cannot wrap itself around what the eyes have just seen, what my ears have just heard, what my feeling have just been bombarded with!
I just…I just can’t!
To whoever got to see this in the cinema, I commend you all. I bow down to your awesomeness because there is no way, there is no way I could have handled this in the cinema!
Oh my Lord!
What was I even writing about? Why did I post this? Oh yeah, to thank you all for looking out for me and updating me!
Obviously this is going to take me a week to finish. And by the way, this is not even the whole movie. This is the Theatrical Cut which is 145 minutes long. There will be a Director’s Cut with the Blurays/DVDs that is over 3 hours long!
Oh Jesus! I have to confront that one as well. A Director’s Cut of this movie? Are you like, kidding me?!
Yeah, I am warning anyone going into this movie blind – Tread very carefully!
July 28, 2016 at 11:04
Hahahaha 40min mark? thats…thats just before the s….se……..sessay times start! LOL you must continue! push on 😀
July 28, 2016 at 21:49
Surely you don’t mean the Se-sese… Well now I am glad I stopped where I did because I am sure I would have exploded.
And now I am nervous to even continue
July 28, 2016 at 15:41
Where did you find the movie? Is it online?
July 28, 2016 at 21:47
Yes it is. Check the comments on this very blog. Also searching for ‘The Handmaiden 720p’ should help you.
July 31, 2016 at 06:11
Do you think you’ll do an analysis(perhaps master post of the symbolism) etc of all the significant events/hidden points/meanings of all the parts in the movie in the future when subs are released? Woo that would be awesome
July 31, 2016 at 06:18
I would write a Bible about The Handmaiden!
First though I have to survive watching the whole movie!! It is just too much for me right now. I was not ready
July 31, 2016 at 07:22
Can’t wait for that Bible to come out 😀
August 1, 2016 at 22:09
That will have to wait for the Blurays though.
When I finish the movie with eng subs, I will only do light comparisons between the three mediums.
August 3, 2016 at 15:10
“To whoever got to see this in the cinema, I commend you all. I bow down to your awesomeness because there is no way, there is no way I could have handled this in the cinema!”
Saw this in one of the trendiest, what I’d presumed would be the least-likely-to-cope-with-graphical-sexual-content cinemas in Central Hong Kong. And it was the most awesomely natural experience ever.
Don’t believe the hype – the nudity and sex really isn’t a big deal.
This was the first Cat III film that I’d seen since emigrating to Asia, and the audience totally took me by surprise. Couples curled up and coo’ed over the sweet bits, girlfriends winced at the painful bits, and everyone laughed at the funny and cheeky bits – especially the closing sequence. And the nudity just wasn’t a big deal at all. Refreshingly open-minded audience, compared to back home.
Can’t wait for the Director’s Cut BD! 😀
August 3, 2016 at 15:20
Thanks for visiting and commenting and totally love the avar.
It is actually surprising to me, then again Hong Kong is kind of at the peak of evolution so I don’t think it is as bad there as it would be in other parts of Asia.
Still, the experience you described is surprising and even though I am sure The handmaiden sex scenes weren’t porn hardcore, compared to what we know of Fingersmith it might as well be.
I am only referring to the difference the book and BBC adaptations in regards to the way sex scenes are depicted. I thought the book was bad because of the description but even then, unless you have a very wild mind, it wouldn’t be that hardcore.
The BBC adapt even though it added visuals to the input medium it was still pretty tame even when we got to Maud’s POV, even though there you got t at least see some boobs.
From gifs I have seen of the movie, those two were tame compared to The Handmaiden. This is what I was referring to if people go in expecting tame BBC/Book type of deal when it comes to sex scenes.
Let’s not forget the added extras like Hideko’s recitals. Totally more sexual than the other versions of this story.
August 3, 2016 at 15:50
Must confess, I didn’t know of the Fingersmith connection when I went to see it, and only realised quite late into the film that there even was one. The story is so heavily adapted and shifted in focus, that I feel it’s a piece in it’s own right. And indeed, the BBC adaption was… tame, at best.
So have you not finished it yet? I kinda presumed by the post dates that you had? The third Act is really quite graphic in places – but never in an exploitive or unnecessary way, but graphic nonetheless. It’s kinda sad that you’re having to rely on a third party sub, as I know there’s no way it can be as nuanced as the official translation was. The way each sequence, particularly the intimate ones, replay, each time with another added layer of information for the audience to work with… Sheer class. But subtle enough that a bad sub will squander the effect. Was so nice to see two young actresses acting as well without words as they were with. So rare that non-verbal communication is handled so well in cinema, especially in intimate scenes.
August 3, 2016 at 16:00
No, I have not yet finished. Not even the First Act. It is just too much for me. At the moment I am scared to go further because the first Sex Scene is awaiting me and I am not ready >.<
But each day since getting the video I have been trying and every time I stop there, just before the …It's like I am in the garden of eden, taken the apple into my hands but just shy of taking a bite!
It's madness I know but I need to be ready for this! Ahgassi is a big deal for me, in case you couldn't tell LOL
August 3, 2016 at 16:03
heh – you picked a good film to champion, don’t worry. I’ll be interested to hear what you make of it all, when you’re done. Will be checking back! Enjoy ^^
My quick-and-dirty review from my own site, (no spoilers):
Park Chan-wook, (Oldboy, Thirst, Stoker,) visits Sarah Waters, (Tipping the Velvet,) in a loose adaptation of ‘The Fingersmith,’ but does so with none of the British cliché and sexual awkwardness that the BBC dismayed us with, in ‘Tipping…’ and ‘Smith.’
+ Complex, engaging story, that while graphic and fanciful, never strays into the needlessly exploitive.
+ Extremely well-realized characters, with actors who know how to invoke a reaction and pull the right strings handling the core roles.
+ Honest, and frank discussion of some of Asia’s most dominant male fetishes, (control, female physical arousal.)
+ Never once trips you over the suspension of disbelief without intending for you to do so.
+ One of the classiest ‘Tyler Durden’ moments since Fight Club itself.
+ A setting and costumes that would make the BBC’s period drama department turn green with envy.
+ Actresses that can handle graphic sex scenes with enough skill and commitment to reinforce the overarching plot in the most subtle, yet later blaringly obvious of ways.
+ Powerful, yet never intrusive soundtrack, (featuring a piece from Gain, of Brown Eyed Girls!)
+ Korean *and* Japanese, from people that can convince you they can speak both.
+ Keigo. Used properly.
+ Yuri, in a film. That isn’t shit.
Touching, funny, silly, and sometimes sad, The Hand Maiden might be called a western ‘Thelma and Louise,’ were the latter not so endlessly depressing and hopeless. Save yourself the frown, and enjoy walking away with a smile, instead.
August 3, 2016 at 16:40
‘Yuri in a Film. That isn’t Shit’
That is all that needs to be said about The Handmaiden. No need to think of the deeper meanings, the awesome plot, the incredible designs, great acting and lovely soundtrack.
The Handmaiden is the yuri story we have been waiting for.
Okay, I think I just got the courage to finish at least the 1st Arc tonight!
Great review by the way. Don’t mind if I stalk you from now on?
August 3, 2016 at 16:46
ty, that’s kind of you to say so.
And please, feel free. I don’t really do the wordpress thing, but you’re welcome to pick at my external site. There’s some yuri fanfiction and some art there, if you’re interested.
July 23, 2018 at 20:55
Late to join the party but better than never! I watched the 2hr 19min version. The scene where sookhee was writing the letter on the change of plan seems to be cut straight to where the uncle was warning hideko..? It doesn’t felt right. Is there a difference to the 2hr 47min ver (since i couldn’t find the longer ver)?
July 24, 2018 at 19:42
Scenes are re-arranged, scenes are longer, scenes are added!
Watch the extended definitely!
July 30, 2018 at 14:02
That’s the problem. I can’t find it! Only find the 2hr 19min ver (ToT)