Parasite is directed by South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho and tells the story of a family that lives in the lower class side area of South Korea. The Kim family are destitute and have to resort to stealing Wi-Fi from other people. Things begin to change for them when the son in the family is asked to tutor a young girl whose family is very wealthy. Parasite had its world premiere at this year’s Cannes Film Festival where it won the Palme d’Or, becoming the first Korean film to win with an unanimous vote.
I was extremely excited for this film ever since it took the top prize at Cannes. I have seen some of director Bong’s films before the release of Parasite, except for his recent film Okja. I was lucky to have been able to screen Parasite at the New York Film Festival, which was my first time attending a film festival and it was a magical experience. All of director Bong’s films are brilliant and deranged.
Now that I have seen the film, I am completely blown away. Somehow director Bong exceeded my already very high established expectations. This is easily my favorite film of the decade and one of my favorite films of all time. This film has been described by the director as a “… Parasite, where it cannot get out of your head for a long while.” The reason I am keeping the plot synopsis so minimal is because going in as blind as possible like I did, makes it a greater experience. Avoid all spoilers if you can. Trust me, it gets insane. The actors, who are fantastic, turn in both comedic yet dramatic performances. The pacing is sharp and fast. The cast and the direction take you in unique, unexpected directions. I was in shock and awe from all the film’s twists and turns. The editing is smooth and dynamic. The writing is fantastic and surprisingly really funny. What makes Bong Joon-ho such a brilliant filmmaker is that you cannot classify any of his films in a specific genre. On the surface, his 2006 film titled The Host appears to be a simple horror film. However, as it unfolds, it becomes a dark comedy and a political thriller. And director Bong does this effortlessly.
Parasite has a lot to say about social status. It is a commentary about how people think the rich are very powerful and how the lower class is treated like garbage and will do anything to get by. It also shows that money can and cannot buy happiness for people.
Parasite is truly a masterful spectacle, the best film of 2019, in fact. It also is one of the most important. I could easily recommend this film for pretty much everyone, even for moviegoers who do not really watch foreign language films. Bong Joon-ho has full control over his vision and handles it beautifully. He now joins the ranks of some of the finest filmmakers working today and one I will always catch whenever he releases a new project. Parasite is a perfect way to end the decade and a film that will be hard to top during the course of this fall’s “Oscar Season”.
(pictured from left) Yeo-jeong Jo, Sun-kyun Lee, Woo-sik
Choi, and Kang-ho Song in Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite
Photo Credit: NEON
By John Bizub