Title – Parasite (2019)
Director – Bong Joon Ho (Snowpiercer)
Cast – Kang-ho Song, Sun-kyun Lee, Woo-sik Choi, So-dam Park, Yeo-jeong Jo, Hye-jin Jang
Plot – Lowly South Korean family the Kims, led by father Ki-taek (Song) and mother Chung-sook (Jang) find themselves in the employment of upper-class family the Parks and sinking deeper and deeper into a world of lies and deceit as they begin to invest themselves more into the Parks everyday lives.
“If I had all this would I be kinder?”
Review by Eddie on 04/02/2020
Over the course of well-regarded and unique films such as The Host, the under-appreciated Snowpiercer and the crazy Netflix distributed Okja, Korean filmmaker Bong Joon Ho has established himself as one of the most noteworthy foreign directors of the last few decades.
Following on with his ability to mix and match genres with an ever-present dark vein of humor seeping through his narratives veins, Ho has hit it big with the surprise 2019 hit Parasite, that now sits pretty in the IMDB Top 50 films of all-time and stands head and shoulders above other foreign films from 2019 in regards to box-office takings off a small scale budget of a couple of million dollars.
Incomparable to any other film you could think of, Parasite is a very original beast, that believe it or not combines drama, comedy, thriller and even moments of horror to ensure that its many twists and turns and social commentary co-inhabit to create an entirely unpredictable experience that is best watched with as little pre-understanding as possible.
Centered around the below the poverty line Kim family and their new employment in the household of the wealthy Park family, Parasite allows Ho to weave together a loaded plot-line that may seemingly be headed one way, only to surprise us all as it veers further and further away from the expected.
Wonderfully played out by its core cast, with highlights from Kang-ho Song as father Ki-taek and Hye-jin Jang as mother Chung-sook, Parasite is the type of unnerving film that keeps you mentally on edge throughout as you’re glued to the screen, unable to turn away from a disaster in the making that must surely be headed towards a finale as wild as we would expect from a director like Ho.
As you watch the expertly directed, edited and scored film, one that has you laughing one minute and gasping for air the next, you begin to appreciate that you’re watching a director operating at the top of their game, in what’s still likely a career only around its halfway mark, it’s exciting to think of where Ho and his inventive mind can go in the future as he continues to give us films that seem to be cut entirely from their own cloths.
In an age where many films are nothing but pale imitations, remakes or sequels, its exciting to see efforts such as Parasite that give us something new, fresh and exhilarating, no doubt a reason why the word of mouth from cinema-goers helped make Parasite a world-wide smash hit and a genuine Best Picture contender at the upcoming Oscars.
Final Say –
While not flawless, Parasite isn’t far off it, a darkly observed social commentary piece that is both heartbreaking and brilliantly humorous, Bong Joon Ho has further established himself as one of the in-form directors working today with what could well be his most important film yet.
4 1/2 peaches out of 5