Greed and class discrimination threaten the newly formed symbiotic relationship between the wealthy Park family and the destitute Kim clan.
For the past few months now, all I have seen on my social media feeds, has been posts about how amazing Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite is. Many have called it not only one of the greatest films of the year, but one of the greatest of the entire decade. The hype surrounding this picture, especially in the film community, has been intense to say the least.
You can probably see why I was so excited to finally be able to get my opportunity to check it out this past weekend. I expected Parasite to be a really good movie, but Parasite is a really good movie. It is one that will keep you enthralled throughout its running time, and will leave you feeling disturbed, haunted, and confused – but in a good way.
All of the acting present here is absolutely brilliant. Some of the true standouts however are Song Kang-ho and Choi Woo-shik as Kim Ki-taek and Kim Ki-woo respectively. They bring an astounding level of nuance and intensity to their performances and every single frame with them is filled with tension.
On the surface, Parasite may seem like a simple film with a simple concept, but I promise you that it is the furthest thing from that. It is extremely layered and is riddled with relevant themes and is genuinely one of the most thought-provoking features of the decade. A large portion of the movies released in this day and age do not leave a lasting impression on you. That does not mean that those are bad films, but it means that they will more than likely not resonate with you for a long time afterwards. Sure, they may be fun and enjoyable, but in the long run, they just will not be in your brain.
Parasite will be on my mind for an incredibly long time. Joon-ho is a filmmaker that has a miraculous story to tell and he tells it with breathtaking skill and expertise. The moment that this picture ended, I felt incredibly disturbed, thrilled, and emotional all at the same time. If Parasite does not end up getting nominated at the upcoming Academy Awards ceremony in 2020, it would be an utter travesty. Films this rich and complex only come so often, and for it to go unrecognized come awards season would be depressing to be honest.
It is also a gorgeously shot feature by director of photography Hong Kyung-pyo. Virtually every shot in Parasite has something interesting happening on screen. In fact, this is one of the most stunning movies of the year.
However, I do have one minor nitpick with the film, and while yes, it is extremely minor, it was something that bothered me a little bit, and so I feel that I should mention that here. In the third act of Parasite, it did strain quite a bit of credibility for me with the way the story went, more particularly the last few minutes. Certain things happen to characters that just came across as unrealistic, sadly. The rest of the film was utterly masterful, but the ending did not feel grounded like the rest of the picture.
Parasite is a wholly riveting experience with an astonishingly gripping story that is rich with complex themes, developed characters, and brilliant direction.
Overall Grade: A
MPAA Rating: R for language, some violence and sexual content
Cast: Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-shik, Park so-dam
Directed by: Bong Joon-ho
Distributed by: CJ Entertainment (South Korea)
Running Time: 132 minutes