Movie: The Handmaiden

Okay, so this movie. Wikipedia calls it a psychological thriller, and I'm going to say that, one other thing, and list trigger warnings before going below the fold, because this movie is extremely spoilable.

So, content warnings: suicide discussion and depiction, sexual violence and rape, child abuse, extensive nudity and sex, mental illness and mistreatment thereof, and, like, probably everything else?

Now, I know how it sounds, following all that information, but listen: This movie is FUNNY.

Okay, Spoiler time.

The best way I think I can describe this movie is: it's a heist film, about stealing Love from the Patriarchy.

It's told in three sections, each one having several major twists in it, and it's densely packed with foreshadowing and checkov's whole damn arsenal.

It's set in Korea under Japanese colonial rule, so somewhere between 1910 and 1945. It follows the story of a young Japanese woman who stands to inherit a great fortune (Lady Hideko), and her Korean handmaiden (Sook-hee). The other major players are Unkle Kouzuki, Hideko's abusive uncle who plans to marry her to take her fortune, and Count Fujiwara, who plans to persuade Hideko to elope with him -- so that he can have her committed to a mental institution and run away with her fortune.

The Count planted Sook-hee in service to Lady Hideko, to help his plan along. But, and this is the best part: they fall in love! That's right, this is a lesbian love story with as many twists as The Brothers Bloom.

There are a lot of sex scenes, which lean into the male gaze a bit (a lot), but despite being shot like softcore porn they do communicate a lot of plot content.

Even with all that, I really don't want to spoil any more, because it's SO GOOD. Check the list of triggers again, and if you don't see anything that'll make a movie an unacceptable experience for you, I highly recommend you go and see it.