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3.8 out of 5 stars36
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 23 August 2013
I disagree with other comments saying that the movie doesn't correspond to the book. The book is one of the best books ever written, but the movie is good on its own. In fact, after having watched the movie during one of my classes at University, I run the next day to the shop to buy all books by Margaret Atwood, and yes, The Handmaid's tale was the first book I read of her after which I fell in love with the author.
The movie, however, is very well-made, and Natasha Richardson (God bless her soul) is absolutely amazing. If you are looking for a serious movie, but also entertaining, something which is different and makes you think, then go for it. I just re-ordered it myself!
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VINE VOICEon 19 July 2013
Once upon a time in the recent future a country went wrong. The country was called The republic of Gilead.

Due to pollution only one in one-hundred women is not sterile and is force to be a surrogate or handmaid to the rich and powerful in a state where right-wing fundamentalists are in charge. Kate (Natasha Richardson) is caught trying to escape the country with husband and daughter. She is apprehended, husband dispatched and daughter reeducated. Kate has the privilege of becoming the handmaid of the commander (Robert Duvall) and his wife (Faye Dunaway). The film is much more complex and the book by Margaret Atwood that it is loosely based on is even more complex.

You can defiantly put this in the category of tear-jerker and nail-biter.
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on 20 December 2012
No where near as good as the book. Missed opportunity. Casting not so good apart from Fay Dunaway. Read the book instead.
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on 9 December 2013
different form the book and something of a disappointment. Weak acting and an unconvincing attempt at the story line spoils it.
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on 23 November 2004
After studying the novel, and reading several of Atwoods other works, I found this movie to be a gross misrepresentation of her dystopic masterpiece. Whereas the novel gained it's strength from ambiguity and ignorance the film tacks answers onto a story that was better off without them (Offreds name and Lukes fate being two obvious examples). The end is not only forced and non-sensical, but serves to undermine the sinister Republic of Gilead. This is all to say nothing of the uninspired dialogue and wooden acting. More than dissapointing; appalling.
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on 10 February 2016
This is a competent adaptation of Margaret Attwood's novel. However, it is somewhat mannered reflecting the style of the films of the time in the early 1980s. Nevertheless it is still watchable and interesting.
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on 18 May 2009
This film, starring the late Natasha Richardson, is a timely reminder of the evils of absolute power, even within institutions which set themselves up as bulwarks against these evils. It is a story of a future where human fertility has diminished hugely, and this has led to the creation of a class of fertile handmaids, inferior to the wealthier class which enslaves them. The story focuses on a young woman, played by Natasha Richardson, who is fertile, and who therefore becomes a womb-slave for a wealthy infertile couple. This couple use the woman to conceive and carry their baby, but in the most oppressive and restrictive of circumstances. The young woman finally makes a bid for freedom.

The story took common social institutions, namely religion and patriarchy and developed what would happen if these grabbed absolute power, in a very dystopian vision of future western society. It is chilling to look at what these have done in the past eight years, with the escalation of tensions between the western world and the arab world. However, while this story focuses on what would happen to the status of women in such a scenario, with the appalling consequences for standards limiting torture and degradation, the lessons can still be learned. It's not too late.
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on 3 October 2003
I would recommend this film to any Margaret Atwood lover. The book is great, and although the film has slight alterations and adaptations it really is an amazing interpretation of the original book. Although it isn't for the faint hearted and in places is quite brutal or graphic, it is a truly excellant film for thrills and shocks. It will have you on the edge of your seat; whilst also causing your mind to think about what this world is coming to and where we are going as a species.
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on 3 September 2014
I watched this movie a few years after I read the book. I thought that the movie did a good enough job at capturing what the book was all about.
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on 3 June 2012
A woeful adaptation and abysmal production of a book by Margaret Atwood in which the US has become a totalitarian biblical state, the world has become polluted, men are sex-starved, and few women remain who can have children. The Handmaid's Tale (1990) has since been described by those close to it as a mess and it shows.

Even Faye Dunaway and Robert Duvall can't save this film from going into the gutter of film history.

The screenplay by Harold Pinter set this up to be the one of the worst book adaptations in cinematic history. Apparently he was exhausted, he has tried to disown the film. The Director Schlondorff couldn't have been a worse choice and the late Natasha Richardson (of the Redgrave dynasty) was recruited to play Offred (our protagonist) - her inexperience I'm afraid to say might be apparent to even those kids who have grown up with Transformers and High School Musical or even Liam Neeson's recent work.

The scoring is an eclectic disgrace but it is the production that is most weak (see below).

The production is all over the place - scenes of hanging are set up badly prop-wise, even scenes of copulation look fake, lighting is wrong and too bright on occasions (and too blue on other occasions), sets are wrong, sound-dubbing is fake and easily discerned, and props aren't worn out. The extras here and supporting actors don't seem up to much (I'm afraid to say, despite the work they did put in).

This film is not visionary either - it's muddled. Dystopias are bound to fail if the director chooses to film without detailed storyboarding and against a normal world backdrop. Yet Schlondorff does just that and it is a bore to watch and in the end irritating. The film plonders on drearily muddled and in the end you end up unsatisfied and confused (if you reach the end that is).

I just wish I could return this purchase. If anyone wants to buy it off me I wouldn't hesitate to discuss.

This DVD has just the one disc and no extras(as expected since no one would want to dare discuss the film). There is a trailer though (for those so inclined as to view it -count me out).
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