Parasite Movie Review
Director: Bong Joon-ho
Starring: Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-shik, Park So-dam, Jang Hye-jin, Lee Jung-eun, Park Myung-hoon, Jung Ji-so, Jung Hyeon-jun, Park Keun-rok, Park Seo-joon
Oscar Wins: Best Director, Best International Feature Film, Best Original Screenplay, Best Picture
Other Nominations: Best Film Editing, Best Production Design
Let’s get one thing out of the way. It’s going to be reeeeally hard for me to fully dive into this movie without getting into spoiler territory, so this review is gonna be a little short. I’m not going to spoil anything for you because this movie is best enjoyed if you go in knowing nothing. That being said, HOLY SHIT, THIS MOVIE IS INSANE.
Living in squalor in a semi-underground apartment is the Kim family. Made up of husband Ki-taek (Kang-ho Song), mother Chung-sook (Hye-jin Jang), daughter Ki-jung (So-dam Park) and son Ki-woo (Woo-sik Choi), the Kim family is just as loveable as they are witty. Though they live in poverty, they do their best – folding pizza boxes for a delivery company to earn some extra cash, stealing wi-fi from a nearby coffee shop and sharing their small living space with an infestation of stink bugs.
When a friend offers Ki-woo the chance to earn some money by taking his place as the English tutor for the daughter of a wealthy Korean family, Ki-woo jumps at the opportunity and happily accepts.
With the help of his sister, Ki-woo crafts a killer resume to prepare for his meeting with the matriarch of the wealthy Park family, Yeon-kyo (Cho Yeo-jeong, who utterly SHINES on screen). And with that, Parasite takes off with the forward-barreling energy of a delightful heist comedy as the Kim’s work together to take over the wealthy Park family home and fortune.
At this point, to say anything more would be a crime. What follows is a hilarious and depressing social commentary on class structure that twists and turns between the worlds of the poor and the wealthy. The tone is comedic at first, but then takes a hard-right turn, hurtling us into one hell of an unexpected ending.
What makes Parasite such an amazing film is the delicate marriage of words and pictures. While the script is a clever, twisted fairy tale filled with symbolism and foreshadowing, the visual language is just as powerful. The clean, empty spaces of the Park home contrast perfectly against the tight living quarters of the Kim apartment. A rainstorm that marks a pivotal shift in the story is beautiful when viewed from the large windows in the home of the Parks, but is detrimental to the Kim family and their underground apartment.
Much like the other films in this batch, the character development here is phenomenal. The Kim family, despite their stature in life, is extremely smart and calculating. The Parks, while insanely wealthy and maybe obtuse, are not stupid, either. This movie respects its characters and really shows them all in various shades of grey…we really don’t KNOW anyone. Class may have a bearing on how we live, but no matter your wealth, everyone has something to hide…
Filled with everything that makes a movie worth seeing (and seeing again) Parasite is a film lover’s film. It begs to be discussed and analyzed and rewatched and interpreted…and I’m DYING to talk about it! So, go see it, then let’s meet for tea and peach pie to discuss it all!