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Review: The Housemaid

Korean remake fuses art and soft-core thrills in steamy class drama
By GERALD PEARY  |  February 16, 2011
3.0 3.0 Stars

In Kim Ki-young's 1960 original, one of the all-time South Korean classics, the title housemaid was a psychopathic femme fatale wrecking the lives of her employers, a composer and his hard-working wife. This sleek remake, written and directed by Im Sang-soo, recasts the housemaid as a slightly unformed, impressionable young Korean girl (a chameleonic Jeon Do-yeon) who's totally out of her league when employed as housekeeper for a filthy-wealthy yuppie family with a mansion the size of Xanadu. Nanny to the child, she also washes the underwear and paints the toenails of the pampered, pregnant wife, and she's seduced by the smug, handsome, entitled husband. The slowly developing narrative moves toward steaming, potboiler sex, then changes into a corrosive class drama, and it ends in surrealist apocalypse. The Housemaid isn't all that deep, but it's consistent fun, on the cusp between art and softcore nonsense.

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  Topics: Reviews , sex, drama, Apocalypse,  More more >
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