The Handmaiden

The Handmaiden ★★★★★

Everyone absorbs a story differently.

Yesterday I remarked that Moonlight is the best film of the year. And, it is. However, the honor of my favorite film of the year - and easily the most fun I've had all year - goes to The Handmaiden.

In many ways Park Chan-Wook's erotic thriller recalls my favorite from 2014 - Gone Girl. Chan-Wook skillfully removes and inserts puzzle pieces in this vast and intricate narrative revealing only what is needed only when it is needed. And, for two and a half hours, he titillates, teases, and weaves until you think he can't play with your expectations anymore; and then he does.

But if this were simply a well-woven story, it would be fun, but unremarkable. After all, a film isn't a book. Yet, here too, Chan-Wook succeeds with flying colors. Every frame is composed with the care of a perfectionist. Gorgeous costume and make-up with even more stunning set design help ensure that virtually no matter what shot Chan-Wook's frame lands on, it is completely and totally beautiful.

Ultimately, though, the fact that this is the most fun I've had in a movie theater since Gone Girl and that this is a day-one blu-ray purchase, should tell you all you need to know about The Handmaiden. I give it a 5/5.

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