Thursday, October 31, 2019

Parasite - Review

Every so often, a film comes along that feels different, that feels special, that feels important. For 2019, no film earns that distinction more than Parasite. From the second the film starts to the moment the credits start to roll, the beautifully blended mix of commentary, humor, and dread crafted by director Bong Joon-ho is as entertaining as it is insightful in a near infinite number of ways.

Greed and class discrimination threaten the newly formed symbiotic relationship between the wealthy Park family and the destitute Kim clan.

It’s hard to write about Parasite for a multitude of reasons, but the two primary roadblocks remain: trying to not give anything away and questioning my ability to even write about such a masterpiece. Anything that’s said here has likely been said already, and probably more elegantly, but I’ll give it my best shot anyway.

There is not a single moment, element, or choice, that is wrong in Parasite.

End of story. See the movie. If you need more convincing, keep reading.

Parasite is impeccably constructed. From the production design by Ha-jun Lee, in which they actually built the entire home of the Park family from scratch to the precise direction from Bong Joon-ho, and all the bold decisions he makes. From the story that flies by with hairpin style turns and demented twists to each and every performance in the film, including the utter perfection of Kang-ho Song as the father of the Kim family.

The film is in Korean, yet it’s hardly noticeable once the film begins. It remains a tale that can be relatable in its themes and characters to any audience, regardless of their background. And above all else, Parasite may actually be one of the most quotable films of the year, you just may have to wait for more people to see it so they’ll understand the references.

What Bong Joon-ho has done with Parasite is incredible. His skills as a director are put on display in ways his other films haven’t shown quite as explicitly. While his other films may be completely on the nose at times, to a detriment even, Parasite finds a balance, both in tone and its commentary on class. The visuals work in tandem with the words, portraying a world of class divide and the perils of the poor in ways that other films could only dream.

And beyond all that artful creation, Parasite is entertaining in the purest sense of the word. Watching the duality of the families as they go about their days offers numerous comedic opportunities, some typical and others subtle. The process and the lengths to which the Kim family would go find something better than their semi-basement living space is both insane and completely captivating, as well as the complete naiveté of the rich Park family. As someone who sees many films in a given year, you’d be hard pressed to be find one more mesmerizing than Parasite.

Parasite is an unreal experience, not just a a movie, but a full blown, full body experience. Most of the praise is going to fall on Bong Joon-ho, and rightfully so, but the entire cast and crew bring their A+ game. This review didn’t even cover the excellent use of the score by JaeilJung or some of the other brilliant performances from the likes of Yeo-jeong Jo or So-dam Park, there’s just only so much time and so many words that one has in a day. But rest assured, Parasite feels like the most complete film of the year and a masterpiece through and through.

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