I’m late to the party on this one, so I’ll keep it brief.
My only previous experience of director Chan Wook-Park’s work was 2003’s ultra-violent Oldboy that was later remade for US audiences.
This takes a reverse sweep by adapting a western tale for the east.
It uses Sarah Watters’ sublime Victorian lesbian bodice-ripper, Fingersmith, as its source material and translates it into Korean/Japanese culture.
It’s bloody brilliant.
It’s sumptuous in its design.
The acting is universally excellent and the story is a guess a minute thriller that holds your attention for every second of its 155 subtitled minutes (yellow for Japanese dialogue, white for Korean).
The story is all about jeopardy, class and the real meaning of love and it’s sultry, sexy, beautiful and actually quite hilarious in parts.
It’s no wonder it’s made it to IMDB’s top 250 of all time.
I rate it a straight ten. What a brilliant and unexpected way to spend a wet November Monday night.