Park gives the story an elegant makeover. It remains a Dickensian crime drama involving a long con, a lesbian awakening, and a series of whomping double-crosses, but the action is cleaner, with no Cockney blowsiness to cloud it. A cold, tranquil, lush estate serves as the backdrop. In fits like electric brownouts that make the mansion flicker, it becomes clear that the meticulous rooms conceal dark pathologies. The ordered allure of “The Handmaiden” is something of a sleight of hand.
October 29, 2016