Time: 132 Minutes
Age Rating: Violence, offensive language & sex scenes
Song Kang-ho as Kim Ki-taek
Jang Hye-jin as Kim Chung-sook
Choi Woo-shik as Kim Ki-woo
Park So-dam as Kim Ki-jung
Lee Sun-kyun as Mr. Park
Cho Yeo-jeong as Choi Yeon-kyo
Director: Bong Joon-ho
Greed and class discrimination threaten the newly formed symbiotic relationship between the wealthy Park family and the destitute Kim clan.
So I’ve heard much about this movie for a while now, there’s been a lot of hype surrounding it. This movie won the Palme d’Or, the highest award at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, and the director is Bong Joon-ho, who made Snowpiercer and Okja (and apparently plenty of acclaimed movies that I have yet to see). Not to mention all the overwhelming praise that it’s been receiving from those who’ve seen it. It’s very rare for some movies to be declared as outright masterpieces immediately after seeing them, and it’s even rarer for them to actually live up to all the immense acclaim, but Parasite did just that.
Thankfully unlike some other recent movies released this year, people have chosen the much more respectable choice to not spoil anything from Parasite’s plot. I’ve not watched the trailer to the movie myself, but even if it doesn’t give anything away, I’m willing to bet the experience is still much better if you go in not having watched any footage beforehand. It’s actually pretty hard to review this movie, there are so many parts I’m choosing to not talk about that aren’t necessarily spoilers, but they’re even better when you don’t know that they are coming. So if I’m being vague, it’s for a very good reason. The writing is absolutely fantastic, for sure one of the best scripts of the year. Thematically, the movie is mostly about class as you could probably tell from the brief plot synopsises, and I liked how they explored that (again no spoilers). You’d actually be surprised to learn that much of the movie is a full on comedy, and I found so much of it gleefully hilarious as our protagonists somehow manage to succeed at their goal surprisingly easily. I had heard beforehand that it had some dark comedy, but I didn’t expect the amount there was (and if you know me, you know that I love me some great dark comedy). However at a certain point there’s a dramatic switch, and the movie turns into an all out thriller at the turn of a dime, and it does so very well. It’s gripping all the way to the very end. There are so many things set up earlier in the movie that come into play later on. It seems so well put together that I can see myself revisting Parasite sometime in the future. The movie is over 2 hours and 10 minutes long, and I enjoyed every second of it.
The cast are all good, with the protagonists the Kim family being played by Song Kang-ho, Jang Hye-jin, Choi Woo-shik and Park So-dam, and the rich family (the Park family) played by Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong, Jung Ji-so and Jung Hyun-joon. Everyone was great in their roles but personally my favourite was Song Kang-ho as the father of the Kim family, he’s been good in the few things I’ve seen him in and he’s stellar here.
This is the third film I’ve seen from Bong Joon-ho, and I’ve really got to see his other movies because from what I’ve seen from him, he’s already shown himself to be a masterful filmmaker. It’s such a great looking movie, it’s shot pretty much perfectly and it really establishes you in their environments, whether it’s the Kim family’s basement home, or the wealthy Park family’s glamorise house. Also during the moments of tension, it’s fantastically directed.
Even if you’ve never heard of this movie before, I implore you to watch Parasite as soon as you can, and knowing as little as possible going into it. The acting by everyone is really great, and Bong Joon-ho’s writing and direction is nothing short of phenomenal. It’s hilarious and entertaining, gripping and shocking, and just was one of the most satisfying experiences I’ve had watching a movie this year. I honestly can’t believe that it’s as great as it is, and I wasn’t even lowering my expectations necessarily. There are some upcoming movies that could potentially take its place, but for the time being, Parasite is firmly my favourite movie of the year.