With English subtitles, this Korean film is divided into 3 parts. The handmaiden dominates part one. Sook-Hee is the handmaiden who goes to work for Lady Hideko, who owns a large mansion with a big library. Working with the scoundrel, Count Fujiwawa, the Handmaiden seeks to rob Lady Hideko.
Part 2 presents another side of the relationship between Lady Hideko and Count Fujiwawa. We learn about some of the kinky secrets from the library, which both disgusts and inspires the protagonists and antagonists. Part 3 wraps up the plot threads with either a beautiful climax or a kinky climax, depending on one’s point of view.
The Handmaiden is likely to be nominated for an Oscar for best foreign language motion picture. The cinematography and texture is full of detail, which enhance the story. There are many ugly moments in The Handmaiden, but there are many beautiful, aquarian scenes. It is a full artistic experience.