All unemployed, Ki-taek and his family take peculiar interest in the wealthy and glamorous Parks, as they ingratiate themselves into their lives and get entangled in an unexpected incident.
A film like Parasite presents an issue when reviewing as this is a story that deserves to be seen with as little information as possible yet with the highest of expectations.
Therefore, I’ll be keeping this review shorter than usual with the least amount of details as possible. In fact, I’d insist that you rush out to watch it as soon as possible and then come back.
If you have seen and enjoyed South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-Ho’s previous work (The Host, Snowpiercer, Okja) then you know that this is a director whose films are told via a very distinct lens and his new film is no exception.
Winner of the Palme d’Or at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, – the first Korean film to ever do so and on the 100th anniversary of Korean cinema no less- Parasite is a masterpiece that is required viewing for film enthusiasts and general audiences alike.
First and foremost, its greatest strength lies in its subversive storytelling, which serves as a poignant commentary that breaks language barriers to reflect on universal issues such as poverty and class warfare, asking its audience to reflect on social divides and to look unto those who are less fortunate with humanity and empathy.
Despite dealing with what could appear as a heavy subject matter that any other filmmaker might have presented in a more straightforward fashion, Joon-Ho knows that his message will be more effectively presented through a magnificently entertaining tale that makes use of every emotion.
From start to finish, his direction is masterful with the film effortlessly switching between dark comedy, suspense and even a dash of horror, yet this mix never feels out of place, rather taking you on an unpredictable roller coaster ride where you truly don’t know what to expect next.
This delicate balance is also supported by an ensemble cast that deliver unanimously marvelous performances, perfectly in sync with each other and the story’s ever changing nature.
Finally, as to be expected from Joon-Ho, Parasite is a visual treat that manages to clearly illustrate the emotional and social divide his characters are going through with simple and beautiful photography that is full of potent and metaphorical imagery.
Bong Joon-Ho has crafted a wildly original, bitingly funny, tragically timely and relentlessly entertaining piece of work that effortlessly jumps back and forth through genres while imparting messages that will hopefully make audiences leave the theater with important discussions. Needless to say, Parasite is a must-see film and one of this year’s very best.