When I watched the trailer of ‘The Handmaiden’, I had a picture of who is innocent, who is being tricked and the suspicious hints in the storyline. But what I found in the first half of the movie, was totally different from the impression that the trailer had had. A Korean girl from a con artists’ household travels to a rich Japanese home to play Miss Hideko’s personal maid, Tamako, with the mission of making her fall for The Count- another acquaintance who wants to get her inheritance for himself by marrying her. Things go out of the plan when Tamako feels for her missus- pity, love and remorse for the innocent being that she was and wants to prevent The Count from taking advantage of her and hurting her in the process of acquiring her treasures. Tamako herself is in dilemma, as she wants riches to fulfill her own dreams, but wants Hideko to be safe from their ploy.
Lady Hideko is delicately beautiful. She was raised as a virtual prisoner by her uncle, the book collector who wanted to marry her. She led an isolated life, with a fixed routine, which included reading poetry for her Uncle Kouzuki and his male guests. The elegant execution of the dense plot in the film not only enthralls but also keeps that element of surprise constantly alive.