Bong Joon Ho returns to the big screen with one of the most surprising movies of this year, Parasite. Winner of the Palme d’Or last year, and recently scooping up a Golden Globe, WGA, DGW and most recently a BAFTA, this is one of the year’s greatest films.
In this is century where the cinema industry is always sanitized and standardized Parasite is a movie that you cannot put into any genre. It is all the more beneficial. Parasite starts as a sort of a bittersweet family chronicle, turning into black comedy, making a detour through the home invasion like cockroaches and settles into a horrifying thriller.
The movie is two hours long, but it is two hours of pure joy. From the beginning to the end, you will be shaking as director Bong Joon Ho (Snowpiercer, The Host) is constantly one step ahead of you, surprising you in ways you never expected.
The film is strongest when attacking institutions of class and wealth with strength and intelligence. Joon Ho works as an observer of a mutant and degenerate society due to the widening gap between the rich and the poor; it is the whole world that he is looking at here in the eyes.
Through Parasite, he uses a fairly simple symbol: The rich live in modern architect villas, isolated from the rest of the world, high, peaceful. While the poor live in tiny apartments, one on top of the other, below ground level. Yet he does not pose himself as a judge; He prefers to play the role of the good anthropologist, by bringing these two worlds together – observing how they can coexist, and enjoy the logical chaos that will eventually take place.
Parasite is a wonder from its very first to its very last minute; largely because of the behind the scene geniuses who excel technical side of the film, including the production design, cinematography, and score. There is nothing to throw away.
This technical narrative is perfection and there is always food for thought, as it sinks into the viewer’s mind. It’s as complex as it is discreet; The slow traveling shots in the house, the glossy and luxuriant photography, the subtle play of the actors between agitation and daze, the scathing efficiency of the frames and the almost theatrical structure of the dramaturgy make Parasite a jubilant work as well as a formidable critical instrument.
The ensemble cast is perfect. The symbiose between them and their character is just stunning. It could be one of the best ensemble cast we see this year. Song Kang-Ho is terrifying yet tender, a father who cares but is pushed by quiet prejudice. Also, we have to give a special mention to Park So-dan and Choi Wooshik who play the Kim’s children. They manage to develop a rare complexity and their destinies are all the more speechless.
In conclusion, Parasite is a movie that feeds on a huge amount of talent gathered on the same project. Bong Joon Ho, who definitely stands out as a director in the lineage of other geniuses capable of sailing between genres, is amongst the finest observers of movements of our world. The movie creates a torrent of emotions from laughter to tears, to extreme tension, without ever losing sight of its purpose. Parasite is a blessing and an immense film.
Parasite is out 7th February