Parasite (2019) : Review

As we traverse through the films that have been nominated for the Oscars we most definitely cannot forget this film. It’s been raved by the film community, at film festivals and over social media. I stumbled upon several tweets about people who found this people intriguing and astonishing and described it as one of the best pictures of the year. Now I’m no stranger to South Korean films. The industry has brought about an impressive collection of movies which can be read about in my blog’s category “It’s called Hallyu”. Gathering six nominations including nominations for Direction and Best Picture, what I can say before I start the actual post that it was very well deserved on that. A lot of people shy away from international films but like what the director Bong Joon Ho who directed this film said during an acceptance speech “If you overcome the one inch barrier of subtitles you will be exposed to a plethora of wonderful films.”

Country of origin : South Korea

Language : Korean

Directed by : Bong Joon Ho

Screenplay : Bong Joon Ho, Ha Jin Won

Story : Bong Joon Ho

Starring : Song Kang Ho, Lee Sun Kyun, Cho Yeo Jeong, Choi Woo Sik, Park So Dam

Music : Jung Jae Il

Released : 30 May 2019

Duration : 132 minutes

Genre : Comedy Thriller

The movie starts with the Kim family consisting of – father Kim Ki Taek, mother Chung Sook, son Ki Woo and daughter Ki Jeong. They live in a semi basement apartment in a very frugal situation. If someone happens to urinate on the road and their windows open that guy would end up urinating in their home. They live off of wifi from other homes and do not have steady jobs.

It is at this time that Ki Woo’s friend Min Hyuk who is preparing to leave abroad for his higher studies comes and gives a “Scholar’s rock” at the Kim household. He also explains that he has been tutoring a high school girl in a rich home, but now that he’s leaving he has to recommend a new tutor. He says he will recommend Ki Woo for the same, and Ki Woo along with his sister prepares a range of fake certificates and arrives at the rich home of the Park family.

Ki Woo starts as a tutor there and slowly through a set of cinematic sequences which I’m not going to explain, since it has to be watched, Ki Jeong becomes the younger son’s art teacher. The two them plot together and it leads to the Park family firing their chauffeur and housekeeper which leads to their father and mother taking the roles respectively – while the Park family is oblivious to the fact that they are actually one family.

One day while the Park family have left for a picnic the Kim family all stay at the Park family home and end up having a “jolly good time” at the home. It’s at that moment that the old housekeeper arrives and wants to enter the home as she has forgotten something. The Kim family lets her in – and it is at this point, the movie really begins.

Did you really think that I was about to tell you the rest of the story? Parasite is a movie that’s not fit to be retold amongst us. It must be watched and enjoyed as it is a work of art.

Where do I really start here? Let’s start with the theme and the genre. Now although I’ve mentioned it as a comedy thriller it’s really a movie that’s set up separately. Separately in the sense, the more comedic part of the film comes in the first half, and the thriller part comes mostly in the second half. From personal experience what I can tell you is that the comedy is very subtle, and the thriller effect is something unlike I’ve ever felt before. It’s subtle but packs a huge punch. Before we have recovered from one revelation or instance in the story we are pulled in for something even more twisted. Some things that should have shook us up seem so normal as the story goes while other subtle things really shock us. If you’ve not seen the movie and you’ve read what I just wrote you would think I’m talking crazy, but watch the movie and read that again, you might probably understand what I am talking about.

The theme that is covered here from the beginning to the end is about social strata- the difference between the rich and the poor. Or let’s not call it a difference- it’s a barrier that we humans, have really fabricated between us. And I’m not talking about the money here really, but on so many other little and big things that were highlighted in this film. It’s at the point that this movie really gets you thinking.

We know that this movie has been nominated for it’s production design too which I expected because I was able to find out in a recent interview that the street that the Kim family lives in was a set built in a giant tub like container – if you wanna know why just watch the movie!

Coming to the performance of the cast and crew. I don’t really need to mention more about the director Bong Joon Ho here, who is really the creator of this master movie. Coming to the actor performances, no character really overtakes any one of them. Each of them is unique and delivered perfectly with their own quirky mannerisms. That’s another thing I like about this film. Movies that turn out to be one-man-shows are okay, but not all the time because a movie is not the effort of just one person but more of a team right?

Post the popularity of this moving rising like crazy I’ve gone through probably hundreds of articles and videos on very deep analysis of the movie. I love watching these because I’m not smart enough to pick these out myself but when I do find it on my own it’s such a surprise when you find how much impact the most intricate of details can bring to a film. Like how certain scenes were fixed blended together seamlessly, certain story sequences like the peaches scene and so many more.

There were a lot of films that did not receive the appreciation it should have over the years. I was afraid and worried thinking parasite might fall prey to that too but I’m happy it hasn’t . I hope this opens a window not just for South Korean films, but for so much more. It was indeed nominations that were very well deserved.

At this point I’m also very happy to note that this well deserving movie has won 4 out of 6 nominations! Namely – Best Screenplay, Best Direction, Best International Feature film, Best Picture! I couldn’t be more happier that a well deserving act got the same as well!

Did you watch this amazing movie? Let me know in the comments. If you didn’t you must. You won’t be disappointed. I hope I haven’t over hyped it though! Let me know what you feel in the comments below!