Parasite is a film that people are going to be talking about for a very long time. From the first few minutes, it’s clear that this film is hiding something, just begging to be unraveled. Luckily, the journey and destination are very much worth your time, resulting in one of the year’s finest films.
Bong Joon-ho, who has also directed Snowpiercer, Okja, and The Host, once again shows his brilliance with this drama. It is not hyperbole to say that this might be one of the most perfectly paced films of the year, with Bong constantly revealing new layers and ideas as the film goes on, up until the final frame. This is an incredibly assured director who knows exactly the kind of film he is making, and he does so with ease and elegance. His work is captivating.
The less said about this film’s plot the better, so here are the basics. The film follows the Kim Ki-taek (Song Kang-ho) and his impoverished family as they try to make ends meet from their basement apartment. When his son, Ki-woo (Choi Woo-shik), receives an opportunity to work for the wealthy Park family, their luck has a chance to turn. That’s all you have to know. Read as little as possible before seeing this film, and let its twists and turns surprise you naturally.
ACTING | CHARACTERS | DIALOGUE:
This film’s cast is incredible. Song Kang-ho, a longtime collaborator with Bong Joon-ho, anchors the entire film with an equally funny and somber turn as the family patriarch. Song just radiates personality whenever he is on screen. However, Choi Woo-shik and Park So-dam absolutely steal the show as Ki-taek’s son and daughter, respectively. They each bring a completely unique brand of wit and nervous energy to their roles, and they are captivating. Also worth noting is Cho Yeo-jeong as Mrs. Park, the wealthy family matriarch. She captures the aloofness that comes with being rich and detached from reality so well. The entire cast deserves all the praise they are receiving, with one of the best ensembles in recent memory.
VISUAL EFFECTS | MAKEUP | DESIGN:
MUSIC | SCORE | SOUND DESIGN:
The film also boasts a strong score, with even stronger sound design. In a film where every detail is important, having sound mixing and design that are up to snuff is crucial. Thankfully, these departments rise to the challenge consistently and create an incredibly tense atmosphere all-around.
The set design of this film is just as remarkable as the cast. The contrast between the worlds of the rich and poor is astonishing and works to satisfy the film’s themes even more. Colors, lighting, and outfits all work to establish a fundamental separation, and it is brilliant.
There is a lot of hyperbole surrounding Parasite, and honestly, it’s mostly warranted. It has a nervy and clever plot bolstered by brilliant direction and performances, culminating into something sublime and very powerful. While its final scenes dragged on just a bit too long, it ultimately sticks the landing. Parasite is a phenomenal film, and one that needs to be seen and discussed by all. Rarely do films this entertaining have so much to say.