Film Review: Parasite (2019)

Also known as: Gisaengchung (original South Korean title)
Release Date: May 21st, 2019 (Cannes)
Directed by: Bong Joon-ho
Written by: Bong Joon-ho, Han jin-won
Music by: Jung Jae-il
Cast: Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-shik, Park So-dam, Lee Jung-eun, Jang Hye-jin

CJ Entertainment, Barunson E&A, 132 Minutes

Review:

“[to his son] You know what kind of plan never fails? No plan. No plan at all. You know why? Because life cannot be planned. Look around you. Did you think these people made a plan to sleep in the sports hall with you? But here we are now, sleeping together on the floor. So, there’s no need for a plan. You can’t go wrong with no plans. We don’t need to make a plan for anything. It doesn’t matter what will happen next. Even if the country gets destroyed or sold out, nobody cares. Got it?” – Ki-taek

It’s been long overdue but I finally checked out Parasite.

I actually had the opportunity to see this in the theater, two years ago. I passed on it, despite the buzz, because I wasn’t a fan of the other pictures I had seen from Bong Joon-ho. Those earlier films that I’ve seen are Snowpiercer and The Host.

This time around, Joon-ho captivated me and I really liked this movie, even if I think it’s been extremely overhyped and definitely wasn’t the Best Picture of the Year, as the ass clowns at the Academy decided.

The film is about an incredibly poor family that cons their way into a rich family’s home. All of them get various jobs for the rich people and they have to act like they’re strangers in order to protect the con. Then one night, while the rich family is away, the previous maid, who was unjustly fired as part of the con, returns and shit hits the fan.

For me, the story becomes unbelievable once you learn that the maid’s husband has been living in the labyrinthine basement for years, undetected by the rich family. In fact, I thought this part of the plot was kind of stupid and the rest of the movie was built off of this weird reveal. It reminded me of the implausibility of Snowpiercer and how that film fell apart for me, as it rolled on and got dumber and dumber.

The thing that makes Parasite not completely derail itself is its ability to build tension and how it essentially pits two families from two very different social classes against one another.

The picture is superbly acted from just about everyone. Even the young kid does a really good job.

My only real gripe about the movie is that it just makes some strange narrative choices, This is also the main flaw in the other Bong Joon-ho films I’ve seen. This one, however, is saved by its strengths, which keep it from completely falling apart for me. And it’s those great strengths and how they’re capitalized on that made me rate this as high as I did.

Rating: 8/10

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