After a thirteen-year imprisonment for the kidnap and murder of a six-year-old boy, Guem-Ja Lee seeks vengeance on the man truly responsible for the boy's death. With the help of fellow ... See full summary »
1930s Korea, in the period of Japanese occupation, a new girl (Sookee) is hired as a handmaiden to a Japanese heiress (Hideko) who lives a secluded life on a large countryside estate with her domineering Uncle (Kouzuki). But the maid has a secret. She is a pickpocket recruited by a swindler posing as a Japanese Count to help him seduce the Lady to elope with him, rob her of her fortune, and lock her up in a madhouse. The plan seems to proceed according to plan until Sookee and Hideko discover some unexpected emotions. Written by
Both Japanese and Korean were spoken in the film by the predominately Korean cast. Before shooting, the Korean actors were all assigned Japanese teachers to study the script and learn to speak Japanese. After the screening at Cannes, actress Min-hee Kim was applauded by Japanese journalists for her proficiency in Japanese. See more »
The Count uses a propane gas lighter. That was impossible in 1930. See more »
I need to remind myself that I want to be rich and then travel somewhere far, eat foreign foods, buy bright shiny things and, most importantly... forget about Hideko.
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The Korean legend returns; more debauched than ever, but funnier too.
I saw this tonight at London Film Festival and Park Chan Wook was there, to answer Q&A. A very special moment to me.
I would advise anyone new to Park Chan-Wook's filmography to first explore his vampire flick 'Thirst' which has a similar style. 'Oldboy' is a cult classic, but more of an opium-filled, octopus eating thrill-ride, which this film is NOT, so be advised. I also think having SOME knowledge of Japanese rule in Korea is essential for understanding this film, or it will be above your head. Do some surface-level research on Japanese annexation of Korea and specifically the infamous 'comfort women'.
Completed that? OK now you're ready for this journey.
Now let's focus on the best part. The villain. This IS the best villain in recent memory. Seriously as far back as Hannibal Lecter. Uncle Kouzuki, is more creepy than Burton's Penguin. Compulsory viewing. I cannot mention anymore out of fear for spoiling the intricate plot. Highly recommended.
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