The Best Thrillers on Amazon Prime Video (May 2021)

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The servant

The servant
Photo: Magnolia

Park Chan-wook’s The servant is a wickedly clever and funny con-job melodrama, the kind that continues to pull the rug under everyone on and off screen. If that was all the movie was, it would still be a staple, at least for those who don’t mind a bit of graphic violence and kinky sex to go along with their misguided orientation. But for all of its twists and turns and betrayals, the most shocking thing about the film is that it is also, quite possibly and very improbably, a truly romantic film. That’s right: the extreme South Korean director of Old boy and Driver makes a love story, one where the lovers aren’t related or vampires or whatever! To make this happen, just remove all the layers of deception, just like the characters do. The film is based on the 2002 Sarah Waters novel Finger, with which Park takes creative liberties, including moving the history of Britain from the Victorian era to Korea in the 1930s, when the country was occupied by the Japanese. Tamako (Kim Tae-ri), a poor villager, is hired to serve as a new servant to the wealthy Japanese heiress Lady Hideko (Right now, wrong then‘s Kim Min-hee), who lives with her lecherous old uncle (Cho Jin-woong) on ​​a sprawling country estate. No sooner has the young woman arrived, however, than Park points to the first of many flashbacks, revealing that Tamako is, in fact (dramatic pause) Sook-hee, a pickpocket working with a con artist, Count Fujiwara (Ha Jung-woo ), to deprive the heiress of his fortune. The plan is to convince Lady Hideko to marry the Earl, then toss her in a trash can and share the inheritance. There’s just one small catch: The two women got closer and closer and Sook-hee may be falling in love with her brand. [A.A. Dowd]

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