If The Handmaiden, Park Chan-wook's follow-up to US set thriller Stoker (2013), takes the filmmaker back to his Asia roots, it still has a strong Western thread running through it. Sarah Water's novel Fingersmith is the source material for a byzantine period thriller full of twists and turns.
The Handmaiden tells the story of a beautiful Japanese heiress (Min-hee Kim), the young con artist (Kim Tae-ri) hired as her handmaiden, and the puppet master behind a scheme designed to relieve her mistress of her fortune.
Waters' book had already been adapted by the BBC in a 2005 miniseries. Park Chan-wook's version, a terrific potboiler filled with stunning visuals and elegant storytelling, shifts the setting from Victorian England to Korea under Japanese rule.
The Handmaiden is out in cinemas now.