I was lucky enough to see an early screener of Parasite and I can tell you hand on heart it’s one of the best films of the year.
Parasite is directed by Bong Joon-Ho and stars Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-shik and Park So-dam. Parasite follows the Kim family, they are poor family and struggle to make ends meet with their part-time jobs. They live in a basement apartment, have to scrounge for free wi-fi and on an almost daily basis put up with drunks pissing on their home.
Then one day friend of the family Min-hyuk (Park Seo-joon) offers Ki-woo (Choi Woo-shik) a job to tutor a girl of a wealthy family. Min states that Ki-woo will earn a decent wage and also that he trusts Ki-woo because he knows he won’t try anything with the girl who he himself has fallen for. After “preparing” for the interview and meeting the Park family Ki-woo gets the job and almost immediately realises something, he could con these wealthy dunces for all they are worth.
From there the con is on
Parasite on one level is a heist film. It is a long con up there with the best films of its genre. It is also a film about class warfare and it succeeds in how it portrays both sides of the war. I will say though it is obvious which side the director falls on in the film even if he shows the depravity of both families. On another far more subtle level, it is a horror and I wasn’t ready for it.
I’ve seen one or two pretty messed up films in 2019, Color Out of Space comes to mind with its body horror and pure batshit anarchy. That film had so many disturbing setpieces that I was disgusted at points. So when I tell you Parasite has the single scariest image of 2019 for me I hope you understand the weight behind my words. This single scene unnerved me to my bones.
This is a great jumping-off point to say Parasite is a gorgeous film, The cinematography is on point. The food, the architecture of the house that is at the centre of this story everything is beautiful even when it’s not. Underneath this decadent world that the Park family live in the world the Kim family live and the stark difference is both fascinating and deeply saddening because the Park’s don’t understand how lucky they are while the Kim family are desperately trying to reach that point regardless of the victims along the way.
The cast of Parasite is a fascinating group of individuals, my particular favourite is Kim Ki-jeong (Park So-dam). She is the daughter of the Kim family and she is in my eyes the most cynical and uncaring person in the film. She falls into the con like a fish to water and plays the Park family so well.
What makes Parasite such a phenomenal film comes down to its culmination of all the story beats. As the final act builds to its climax the already impressive score compounds on top of a disturbing supercut that showcases the class warfare in such a horrifying way that when everything fell into place I was dumbfounded and I loved it.
Parasite is brilliant. One of the best of 2020. Check it out when it’s at your latest cinema.