Parasite ★★★★

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I can’t say anything about Parasite that hasn’t already been said. It’s been out for a while and has received a tonne of attention from fans and critics alike, as well as having swept a bunch of awards.

I’ve seen the film twice now and was gonna see it again tomorrow at a special screening featuring a livestream Q&A with Bong Joon-ho, but unfortunately it sold out before I was even aware of it, such is its success.

On my initial viewing I thought it was a good movie with nice cinematography, solid performances and a relevant, bold and unpredictable story. Upon rewatch however, I noticed subtle set ups for things that happen later on, as well as a lot of symbolism and visual storytelling that I missed the first time around.

What I like about Parasite is that it provides social commentary without being too preachy. It also blends genres very well and feels original and important. It conveys tension, humour and heartbreak equally well and it earns its unexpected plot twists/reveals.

The pacing is nice and brisk, with some of the most efficient editing I’ve seen all year. Camera composition is used in a way which accentuates both families’ social positions, with the poor family constantly being squashed into a close-up while the rich family are often seen in wides or even a extreme wides while they wander about the (very nicely designed) house. The soundtrack is also used to create excitement and tension.

The visual motif of rain and the ways in which weather affects the two families so differently provides a powerful and all-too-real look at the disparity in class.

Despite all of the above, unfortunately I had the twist ruined for me before I watched it, which I think is why I’m not raving about this like everyone else, but it’s still one of the best of the year and I can’t wait to see what Joon-ho does next.


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