brycehuck’s review published on Letterboxd:
Bong Joon-ho continues to perfect his craft and delivers what is possibly his best film to date. I have never seen a film that has been able to mix genres so seamlessly as this one does. At first you are watching a family comedy, then a heist film, then a horror film, then a thriller, then a melodrama, etc.. And despite these constantly changing tones, it never feels jarring or unnecessary; there is such a natural flow to the way the film guides us through these styles and moods from scene to scene, giving us an experience that never feels boring, dull, or stale. It is truly one of the most exciting films I have ever seen, and as it builds towards its climax, it racks up the tension and the emotions in a way that I have never seen any other film be able to achieve. Even with this second viewing, I still felt so much anxiety after it was over despite already knowing what was to come.
There are so many instances of well-crafted reincorporated plot points that pop out so much more on a second watch. The symbolism never feels ham-fasted or in your face, rather details than you are able to discover and interpret for yourself. This being due both to Bong’s expert directing skills and his brilliantly structured screenplay, which utilizes traditional screenwriting techniques to create a flawlessly streamlined narrative. The story and dialogue are just even more elevated by the perfect cast, none of whom give a single bad performance. The cinematography is gorgeous, with constantly changing angles, points of view, and wonderful scenery. And the score by Jung Jaeil compliments every scene beautifully; so many memorable compositions.
My biggest issue with the film upon a first watch was the ending, which I definitely warmed up to this time. On my first viewing, I thought it to be a little overlong and unnecessary: not the case here. Not only did the ending wrap up the story in a manner that made complete sense both thematically and literally for what was set up previously, but it also felt like an imperative addition to everything that came before, an essential piece of the puzzle. Admittedly, however, there is something about the ending that still does not completely sit right with me. Could it be due to the rapid editing and pacing, or the music choice in the last 30 seconds? I am not sure exactly, but regardless, I did enjoy the finale much more this time around.
Overall, Parasite is an absolute triumph. It is truly rare to find a film that manages to balance accessibility and artistic integrity as superbly as this one does, and its commentary is relevant and quintessential to the whole experience. Vibrant, hilarious, lively, terrifying, depressing, and overall, exceptional. One of the best films from the 2010s.
Also, if it does not win Best Picture tonight, we riot.
Edit: It won Best Picture. You love to see it.