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chazgower01

The Housemaid (Korea, 1960)

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The Housemaid (Korea, 1960) Criterion Channel 4.5/5

When a music teacher takes on a housemaid, she turns his world upside down, threatening his teaching position and upper middle class status while slowly destroying his family.

Director Kim Ki-young created a movie of great atmosphere, tension, and desire that had me curious to see what happened next, and constantly guessing how it would all end (for the record, I wasn't a big fan of the ending). It LOOKS great (considering it had to be restored), and the performances are really enjoyable. Lee Eun-shim (as the Housemaid) is a classic film villain - there's something not right about her from the first time she appears on screen (she gets caught smoking, hidden in one of the girl's closets), a sense of danger, and yet a sexy sort of vulnerability that makes her a much more complex character (and psychologically frightening) than your basic femme fatale.

Kim Jin Kyu as the piano teacher family man that all of the women seem to lust after - for his status and stability as well - goes from solid to torn to pieces by the end of it all. At a certain point, it seems to almost go over the top, but even this is explained. Class separation is explored here very effectively, but there's so much more to it than that... just cool film, well worth checking out. 

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Edited by chazgower01

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