Kim Ki-young’s the original Housemaid
(1960) was a suffocating, yet thrilling masterpiece and the film pronounced
Korea as a major player in the international film stage. The simple plot of a
family hires a housemaid who ultimately ruins their lives by turning psychotic
and obsessive after the husband has sexual relationship with her. The power
dynamic has entirely escalated by the end of the film, where the maid took the
control and dominated the house and family. After 50 years, Im Sang-soo successfully
brought back the spotlight to Korea’s film industry by presenting the remade
version, which shakes the core structure of the original and inverts it. In a reversal
of the original film, the director substitutes the middle-class family who desperately
want to become financially stable in order to support its ill member with an
opulent upper-class family of extravagant lifestyle. Sex, power, class and
money come to circulate around this shadowed world of the maid’s rich employers
where the fingers are pointed at the ruthless viciousness and lack of
compassion which typically reflects the very-wealthy. 

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