Jeong-eun LeeKang-ho Song...
Bong Joon Ho
In 3 Cinemas
A foreign film, which won not only a Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award but also a total of six Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director? Whether it will appease or annoy, sheer curiosity makes Parasite an intriguing experience.
Parasite follows the poverty-stricken Kim family; neither the parents nor the two grown children are able to keep a job, until the son Ki-woo (Choi Woo-Shik) lands a tutoring job for the daughter of the wealthy Park family. With sly wit, Ki-woo is able to have his sister (Park So-Dam) working as the art therapist for the Park’s little boy, as well as hire his father (Song Kang-Ho) as a chauffeur, and his mother (Jang Hyae-Jin) as the family’s housekeeper. But their great new life takes a sharp turn when they make a shocking discovery about something in the house.
The first half of the film paints the simple yet clever plot, but that soon changes when the feature shifts its witty comedic vibe to tackling deeper themes; like the interaction between different classes, and survival at any cost. The most astonishing aspect of that is that the audience barely feels that switch, and the whole thing just feels like a con gone wrong, but the themes are so clearly put on the table in the process.
Parasite’s pace is thrilling, able to captivate the audiences throughout, offering them a new curve just as they start getting too comfortable.
The fact that the film is subtitled could be a turn off for many, but it was a pleasant surprise that that didn’t take away from the film and its characters’ ability to fully express themselves in a plausible and not at all forced manner.
That says a lot about the acting talent in the film, and all the leads of the Kim family were phenomenal at making their characters multidimensional and believable in no time. But Song Kang-Ho and Jang Hyae-Jin stood out as the parents, especially in the second half. Playing Park Sr., Lee Sun-Kyun also manages to stand out with balancing a likability with a realist rich attitude within his character.
As a whole Parasite is funny, scary, ridiculous, sad, witty, and depressing, all at once, and even though it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, its complexity is definitely a worthwhile experience.