Parasite (2019)

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Photo from Roger Ebert

Parasite centers on a family living in poverty in South Korea, once they are able to secure jobs by working for a rich family, they are happy to work for them until things start to take a darker turn.

This film absolutely floored me. I went into the film mostly blind, only having unintentionally seen the trailer while it was playing in front of another movie. I have been seeing the glowing reviews of the film from various film festivals though. However, I wasn’t sure if the film would live up to the hype. I can gladly say that it does.

The film is funny, tense, surprising, and thrilling, and the ensemble cast is fantastic. Director Bong Joon-ho develops both the rich and the poor family, so we can understand each of the characters. I’m a fan of Joo-ho from his previous films Snowpiercer and Okja, but this film helped solidify how much of a masterful director he is.

Kang-ho Song plays “Mr. Kim”, his family lives in a basement house where they steal free wifi from neighboring shops. They are obviously struggling to make ends meet, when the son, “Kevin” (Woo-sik Choi), gets the chance to work for a very wealthy family who need a tutor for their daughter, but he scams the family and is able to get his whole family to work under them. Song, Choi, along with So-dam Park as the daughter, “Jessica,” and Yeo-jeong Jo as the wealthy mother, were all stand-outs and were the performances that stuck with me the most. But like I said before, the whole cast is really just great.

The film delves into class and the economic differences between these two families. And the more you think about the film, the more this message hits you. The film is also beautiful to look at, setting up the environments – the spacious, luxurious home of the rich and the cramped, dirty home of the poorer family – perfectly.

I believe the less you know about the film the better. Just as I thought I had a grasp on where the film was going, the film took an unexpected turn that added a new layer to the story. The story itself is just so original that it feels unique and refreshing.

Overall, Parasite is my favorite movie of the year so far. The story and performances were simply and utterly phenomenal. I hope this film doesn’t just garner a nomination for Best Foreign Film for the Oscars, but that it also gets a Best Picture nomination, along with a Best Director and Original Screenplay nomination for Joon-ho as well. So, I highly recommend that you try to catch this film as soon as you can because this is a movie that sticks with you.

I give Parasite an A+

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