Parasite ★★★★★

When it comes to films with a lot of hype around them, it’s so hard to not wind up disappointed by them due to the predetermined unachievable expectations you develop. I don’t think I’ve experienced more hype from my friends and the greater cinephile world for a non-superhero or franchise film than for Parasite. Maybe it was because it wasn’t immediately available in the U.S., maybe it was because people kept saying how crazy the story was, but for some reason this movie was the one that I’ve heard the most people say they looked forward to. On Letterboxd, I witnessed my friends who were able to see it early giving out 5 stars like it was nothing, and I saw critics I highly respected labeling it as a contender for best movie of the decade. Sure, I was excited to see it, but I couldn’t help but fear that the hype and praise for it I kept hearing was almost only existent due to the amount of hype and praise it initially got, and the exclusivity and mystery of the film made it “cool” to have seen it and claim it a masterpiece.

Either way, I went into this movie expecting to be entertained and to like it, but I figured because I had such high expectations there were going to be aspects that stuck out to me, or there was gonna be some weak aspect of the film. Like maybe the script is airtight but the cinematography isn’t great, or maybe the performances are spot on but the editing is weaker. I wasn’t going to go out of my way to find problems, but I figured it would be disappointing in some way.

But oh boy, was I wrong. I won’t go into the plot because I don’t wanna spoil anything, but let’s just say I avoided all trailers for this movie so that the storyline would hit me harder, which I am glad I did. But from the title, the poster and the director, my assumptions of what the story was gonna be about was laughably incorrect. The plot I got instead was one of the most interesting, exciting, and rich I have experienced in so long. In regards to my fear of an aspect of this film being weaker, I was was way off. Every cinematic aspect of this movie is amazing, and the cinematography found this great way of feeling familiar yet unique and new, and the performances were all so good, like overwhelmingly good.

The last shot of the movie was so painfully beautiful. This movie is so painfully beautiful. Bong Joon Ho is such a thoughtful, talented, masterful filmmaker. This movie somehow exceeded my already monstrous expectations and packed so much thematic meaning into its crazy story. This movie is about identity, class, love, pride, dreams, spirituality, and life itself.

This is the best movie I’ve seen all year, and unless some other less hyped releases this fall and winter surprise me, this will be the best movie of 2019.

Emilio Miguel liked these reviews