A poor, unemployed family manages to con their way
into working for a wealthy family by manipulating them.
Directed by Bong Joon Ho
Written by Bong Joon Ho and Jin Won Han
Starring Woo-sik Choi, Kang-ho Song, Yeo-jeong Jo,
So-dam Park, Hye-jin Jang, Jeong-eun Lee, Ji-so Jung
Oscar Wins - Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best International Film
Oscar Nominations - Best Production Design, Best Film Editing
Bong Joon Ho. A director that I quickly became a fan of after seeing the exceptional action movie Snowpiercer. I know that’s not great because he has released more films than that, but it’s the one which got me hooked. Much like that film, Parasite got on my radar after seeing the trailer and constant positive word of mouth. Then, next thing I know, it becomes the first foreign to win Best Picture at the Oscars. Now, as Filmgazm fans will either know or learn to know, I’m not exactly what one would call a fan of this organization. But, I still got to give credit where credit's due and I can’t deny that is a very impressive feat for a foreign film. So, after all this build up, I finally got the chance to sit down and watch. And, boy, what a wild ride I ended up having.
Parasite starts out simple enough. A very poor Korean family ends up getting work for a rich family by plotting ways to get the help fired so they can get the jobs instead. Therefore, getting to live the lives they wish they had. Right off the bat, we get an extremely sharp social commentary on the class divide in Korea. From how families are destined to live a certain way to how the rich have nothing but disdain for the poor. We also get to see how expertly Bong Joon Ho handles various genres at once. One minute the film is serious, the next it’s laugh out loud funny. This all leads to making the audience comfortable before the rug is completely pulled out from under you. I won’t spoil it here for those who have yet to watch this film. But, this film definitely takes a turn to almost horror territory with a twist that I did not see coming at all.
For those of you who are turned off by foreign films due to having to read subtitles, I urge you to get past that and give this a chance. Much like his previous film, this is another rollercoaster of a ride that you won’t know where it’s going. A gripping story, smart social commentary, great performances, and an ending you won’t see coming will make this a film you won’t soon forget. Let’s just hope the upcoming HBO adaptation upholds the brilliance shown here.
Parasite is the best film I’ve seen this year. So far. It’s a complete genre bender that will have you stirred up at the core. It’s the seventh film directed by Joon-ho Bong and undoubtedly his masterpiece. We are introduced to the Kim’s, a poor family of 4 living in modern South Korea. The son, Ki-woo, gets a job opportunity that opens all kinds of doors. Some that were better off staying shut.
Bong has shown incredible talent once again and the cast blew me away. I really want to see Kang-ho Song get a Best Supporting Actor nomination, because his character made me laugh, cry, and think long after the film ended. In fact, I can’t stop thinking about the film altogether. Everyone was so damn good and it was thrilling as imaginable. There’s so much symbolism in it, that it warrants a second watch. It’s a whirlwind of a film and I can’t recommend it enough.
Parasite is a total mindfuck in the best way possible. It's hilarious, it's dramatic, it's horrifying, and best of all, it's wholly original. Bong Joon Ho delivers his finest film yet, one that I believe has a very good chance of winning Best Picture this year, an honor that has never gone to a foreign film before. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time, and there's not a single moment that goes the way you think. And beneath the intelligent story and witty screenplay lies an honest critique of modern class struggle, a motif that Bong Joon Ho often brings to his films.
Meet the Kim family, four poverty-stricken lower-class street urchins willing to do whatever it takes to have a better life. When oldest son Ki-woo (Woo-sik Choi) gets an opportunity to lie his way into tutoring a rich family's daughter, he manipulates the rich Park family into hiring his entire family under aliases. The Kim family thinks they've won, but near the end of the third act, something happens that propels this movie into a completely different genre. What was once a quirky dramedy is now a full-blown horror movie thanks to a turning point that I won't spoil here. Suffice it to say, it's a genre shift unlike anything I've ever seen, and it doesn't feel forced at all.
Parasite is a unique look at the brutal class divide between the rich and poor of South Korea. It uses brutal themes, morally gray characters, and a host of incredible performances to tell the real story that Bong Joon Ho continues to show with his films. Class struggle is real, and it changes people. Parasite is one of the films to beat this awards season, and if it did win, it would absolutely deserve that gold.