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The Housemaid (2010) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region 3

Jeon Do Yeon (Actor) | Lee Jung Jae (Actor) | Seo Woo (Actor) | Yoon Yeo Jeong (Actor)
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Customer Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 5 - 5 out of 10 (2)

YesAsia Editorial Description

Kim Ki Young's 1960 classic The Housemaid is widely regarded as one of the best Korean films ever made. Fifty years later, acclaimed filmmaker Im Sang Soo brings the thriller to screen again with a highly anticipated remake that has garnered both critical acclaim and huge box office. Invited to the Cannes and Berlin Film Festivals, the 2010 retelling of The Housemaid magnifies the lust, manipulation, and domestic power struggle of the original into a full-blown erotic psycho-thriller. While Kim Ki Young's Housemaid saw the unraveling of a middle-class family in the hands of a femme fatale maid, Im reverses and subverts the story by sending an innocent housemaid into the lion's lair and witnessing her abuse and transformation amid the cold and cavernous beauty of the palatial mansion.

Award-winning actress Jeon Do Yeon stars as poor divorcee Eun Yi, who gladly signs on to work as a nanny and housemaid for a wealthy, upper-crust family. In her naive eyes, the rich and handsome Hoon (Lee Jung Jae, Typhoon), his pregnant wife Hae Ra (Seo Woo, Paju), and adorable daughter (Ahn Seo Hyun) make the picture-perfect family. But that myth is soon shattered when the domineering Hoon finds his way to her bed. Their torrid affair upsets the balance of the household, unleashing a cruel power struggle as Hae Ra, her mother (Park Ji Young), and the head housekeeper (Yoon Yeo Jung) all answer with their own calculated measures.

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Technical Information

Product Title: The Housemaid (2010) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) 下女 (2010) (DVD) (中英文字幕) (香港版) 下女 (2010) (DVD) (中英文字幕) (香港版) 下女 (DVD) (香港版) 하녀
Artist Name(s): Jeon Do Yeon (Actor) | Lee Jung Jae (Actor) | Seo Woo (Actor) | Yoon Yeo Jeong (Actor) | Hwang Jeong Min (Actor) 全 度妍 (Actor) | 李政宰 (Actor) | 徐雨 (Actor) | 尹汝貞 (Actor) | 黃貞敏 (Actor) 全 度妍 (Actor) | 李政宰 (Actor) | 徐雨 (Actor) | 尹汝贞 (Actor) | 黄贞敏 (Actor) チョン・ドヨン (Actor) | イ・ジョンジェ (Actor) | ソウ (Actor) | ユン・ヨジョン (Actor) | Hwang Jeong Min (Actor) 전 도연 (Actor) | 이 정재 (Actor) | 서우 (Actor) | 윤여정 (Actor) | 황정민 (Actor)
Director: Im Sang Soo 林常樹 林常树 イム・サンス 임상수
Release Date: 2010-12-10
Language: Cantonese, Korean
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese
Country of Origin: South Korea
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1
Sound Information: Dolby Digital
Disc Format(s): DVD, DVD-5
Region Code: 3 - South East Asia (including Hong Kong, S. Korea and Taiwan) What is it?
Rating: III
Duration: 107 (mins)
Publisher: Edko Films Ltd. (HK)
Package Weight: 120 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1023815812

Product Information

* The Features:
- Theatrical Trailer
- Teaser
- Photo Gallery

Director: Im Sang Soo

Eun-yi, a middle-aged divorcee, is hired as an upper class family housemaid. But soon enough, master of the house Hoon takes advantage of his social position by slipping into her sheets. Hoon's visit become frequent and Byung-sik, an old housemaid, report the affair to hae-ra's mother, Mi-hee, who plots to give Hae-ra the control over her husband. Soon Eun-yi miraculously becomes pregnant and wants to keep the baby. This is discovered by the family and she's forced to have an abortion by Mi-hee despite Eun-yi's plea to let her keep the baby and leave the house. Mi-hee's plot backfires when Hoon scrutinizes her for terminating his child, even if that child is conceived illegitimately. Her forced abortion turns Eun-yi's mental condition for the worst and she decides to take the matter into her own hands. Credit block, company logos...
Additional Information may be provided by the manufacturer, supplier, or a third party, and may be in its original language

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Awards

This film has won 1 award(s) and received 2 award nomination(s). All Award-Winning Asian Films

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "The Housemaid (2010) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)"

December 6, 2010

With Kim Ki Young's 1960 social commentary suspense thriller The Housemaid long having been considered one of the all time greats of Korean cinema, the announcement that it was to be remade was always going to raise a few eyebrows. The prospect became even more interesting when noted director Im Sang Soo took the helm, having previously been responsible for a number of controversial and thought provoking productions, including A Good Lawyer's Wife, The President's Last Bang and most recently Old Garden. In bringing the story back to the screen and updating its themes, changes were inevitable, with it emerging as far more of an erotic psycho-drama - not that this should dampen its appeal, especially given the presence of award winning actress Jeon Do Yeon (Secret Sunshine) in the lead. As well as being invited to screen at the Cannes and Berlin Film Festivals, the film was a massive hit at home with critics and audiences alike.

Jeon Do Yeon takes the titular role as Eun Yi, a down on her luck young divorcee, who accepts a job as housemaid and child minder for a rich upper class family. The poor girl is immediately enchanted by their luxurious lives, charmed by the handsome and suave Hoon (Lee Jung Jae, Typhoon), his pregnant wife Hae Ra (Seo Woo, Paju), and their surprisingly well mannered young daughter (Ahn Seo Hyun). Unfortunately, she soon discovers the rot beneath the surface, as Hoon seduces her, and a taught battle for control of the household begins. Things get even more vicious when Hae Ra's cold and calculating mother (Park Ji Young) joins the fray, pushing her daughter to pull out all the stops in removing her rival for Hoon's affections.

Although they share the same basic premise and might seem to suggest similar themes, Im Sang Soo's take on The Housemaid shows a marked contrast with that of Kim Ki Young, and like the 1960 original his film is very much a product of its time. As such, it takes place within a very different society, shifting its focus from the emerging middle class, to the newly rich pseudo aristocracy. This changes the film down to its very core, with its protagonist no longer being a cruel and manipulative femme fatale, but an unfortunate, somewhat ignorant young girl who suffers greatly at the hands of her employers, and whose later attempts at taking them on have tragic rather than cathartic results. Eun Yi is a complex and morally ambiguous figure, who may well divide audience sympathies, though whether her actions are seen as being due to naivety or malevolence, she certainly makes for a compelling protagonist. Jeon Do Yeon is excellent in the role, keeping her housemaid believable, and never overdoing either the wide eyed innocence or the seductive destructiveness.

With many of her acts being distinctly amoral, film does have a cold feel to it, not least since she is the only character that the audience is really invited to identify with. Indeed, the upper class family are collectively monstrous, both in their treatment of her and in their near obsessive vanity, greed and psychotic selfishness. Although Hae Ra comes closest to showing a few glimmers of humanity as the wronged wife, even she proves more than capable of horrendous deeds to further her own position. As such, whilst Eun Yi's scheming is understandable, the film does make for uncomfortable viewing at times, quite deliberately so. The plot itself does have quite a few new twists, and though it is quite clearly hurting towards an unpleasant ending from the very start, it manages to drum up a fair amount of suspense, mainly as to the question of just how bad things will get.

One of the film's main assets is its gorgeous set design, with the family home being a truly magnificent and ornate affair, with every room decked out in opulence and luxury. The film's production values are impeccable, giving it a decadent, though vaguely sinister feel that fits very well with its themes. Dark, rich colours dominate almost every frame, and this also helps to heighten the tension and to accentuate the less pleasant aspects of its characters' psychology. Im's direction is a mixture of the stately and the lurid, managing to both keep its distance from the amoral goings on, whilst at the same time employing enough prowling camera shots to give the film a distinctly voyeuristic feel. The film is well paced, with plenty going on, including a good few shock scenes, and some very graphic and sweaty sex, marking it as a mature and adult production. Things only really get out of control right at the end, with a sudden and rather random ending, which though fitting enough in a nasty sort of way does seem to come out of nowhere rather, being at odds with the film's earlier patient character development.

Still, in its way this only serves to make The Housemaid even more memorable, and one of the most interesting and challenging Korean films of the year. Beautifully crafted and directed, though a very different beast to the original, it more than holds its own, boosted by a brave central turn from Jeon Do Yeon and assured direction from Im Sang Soo.

by James Mudge - BeyondHollywood.com

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This original content has been created by or licensed to YesAsia.com, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of YesAsia.com.

Customer Review of "The Housemaid (2010) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)"

Average Customer Rating for this Edition: Customer Review Rated Bad 5 - 5 out of 10 (2)

John
See all my reviews


March 3, 2011

more sophisticated - more simplistic Customer Review Rated Bad 2 - 2 out of 10
this film takes the dangerously scheming housemaid of the 1960 B&W original - and turns her into a "victim" of the rich family who hire her

this is the type of "victim" who at first accepts the husband into her bed despite the wife's considerate treatment of her - then eagerly welcomes him

but you shouldnt see it that way cuz the family is rich and heartless - as evidenced by their aloof manner - Western fashions - the cold empty silence of their spacious house - intruded on occasionally by the alien sounds of Western Classical music

theyre evil - so in this simpleminded universe - she must be the nice one - even the family child loves her - if there were a family dog...

at least the film is technically sophisticated compared to the primative original - with suitably spare dialog - and actors who neatly fit into the 2-dimensional roles

but theres hardly an honest human moment thru out
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Kevin Kennedy
See all my reviews


February 24, 2011

1 people found this review helpful

Glossy remake of Korean classic Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
Glossy and amoral, director Im Sang Soo's remake of "The Housemaid" has vastly greater production values, but lacks the depth of Kim Ki Young's original film. Jeon Do Yeon stars as Eun Yi, a divorced worker at a seafood restaurant with an odd fascination for suicide. Eun Yi interviews for and obtains a job as a nanny/maid for an extremely wealthy family. On the surface, the family, with its dashing father, gorgeous pregnant mother, and well-behaved daughter appears the picture of perfection. Yet soon handsome Hoon (Lee Jung Jae) seeks to dally with the not-so-innocent maid and Eun Yi is more than happy to comply.

The affair unravels when head housekeeper Byung Sik (Yoon Yeo Jung) tells wife Hae Ra (Seo Woo) that Hoon has impregnated the maid. Wounded by the news, Hae Ra seeks counsel from her mother (Park Ji Young), whose advice for handling the situation is (literally and figuratively) poisonous. Eun Yi either can 'go gentle into that [not so] good night' or seek revenge. The shocking choice she makes leaves a lasting impression.

The cast delivers believable performances. Yoon Yeo Jung is particularly fine as the head housekeeper, a woman whose pride has been crushed under a lifetime of petty grievances. Surprisingly, Jeon Do Yeon, while competent in her role, delivers nothing we haven't seen from her in such films as "Happy End", "You Are My Sunshine", and "Secret Sunshine". Given the copious screen time it receives, I thought perhaps her bare bust might receive its own credit in the closing crawl.

What makes the 1960 version so memorable is that most of the characters have a sense of right and wrong, of good and evil, yet the suffer from the malady the apostle Paul described when he wrote: "Sin, seizing an opportunity through [the knowledge of good and evil], produced in me all kinds of covetousness". Kim Ki Young's film has a powerful moral sensitivity almost entirely absent from Im Sang Soo's chilly remake. Nonetheless, this new version is an effective psycho-thriller which mature audiences may find compelling.
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