Jared Jacoby’s review published on Letterboxd:
“You know what kind of plan never fails? No plan. No plan at all. You know why? Because life cannot be planned.“
I cannot say that I have heard a bad thing about this movie. However, the universal acclaim is the only knowledge I had about this film. Going into it, I knew absolutely nothing about it. I wanted it to be that way because I wanted to watch it blind. What is this movie about and why has it garnered so much attention. To say the least, it is one hell of a ride...
Parasite is one of the most genuinely intense movies I have ever seen period. It starts off with a poor family trying to get out of poverty. The premise sounds simple and basic, but the plot gets more and more complicated, but it has much more depth and conflict. There are so many layers in this film about family, about poverty, about greed and about social equality. The Kim family is definitely not the most pleasant group of protagonists, but they have relatable motivations. Their lives are completely miserable and they want to be able to live better lives. They are fantastic characters and despite their flaws and acts of villainy, they are easy to root for because of their sympathetic qualities. They also have terrific chemistry with each other. If someone told me that they were a real family, I would not be surprised. The housekeeper has a surprisingly sympathetic story that I won’t spoil. The Park family is the rich family and it is easy to see them as a lot less sympathetic than the Kim family, but they have their sympathetic traits too, especially the son. All of the performances are terrific in this film from the line delivery to their facial expressions. These people felt real, not like actors. The story is amazing. It starts out interesting with its premise and then gets much more intense when the family moves into a higher position. There are twists and turns that I do not expect and the climax is shocking. Every beat in this film builds the tension further and further. The script blends drama and comedy perfectly. It is a very funny film, but it shines with the dramatic elements. The suspense is some of the best I have seen in a film and every step of the way I was clenching my seat to what would happen next. The ending hit really hard as well. The writing is just tremendous here. However, if you watch this movie, PAY ATTENTION to every single minute of the film. Not only is the film Korean so there will be subtitles, the movie is fast-paced and to fully understand what is going on, it is crucial to pay extra attention to the film to get more details. I got about halfway the first time watching that I had stop not because I didn’t like the movie, but because I did not know what in the world was going on. However, after watching again tonight, I was able to figure out what the family was doing and what their goals are. If I watch it again, I might be able to find some details that I missed. This movie demands your attention and it never lets up for even a minute. It is exhausting, but not in a bad way, but in the “holy s**t what is about to happen,” kind of way. It goes without saying, but technical aspects are marvelous. The cinematography is so breathtaking. There are so many gorgeous shots in this film that I lost count. But what makes the cinematography so great is that this feels like a real event taking place and not just a typical drama movie where people are pretending. There is a flood scene that illustrates this perfectly. It feels authentic. The musical score is phenomenal as well. It builds the tension perfectly while sounding really catchy at the same time.
I cannot really go into Parasite much further without going into spoilers. This movie is legendary and it won best picture at the Academy Awards for a reason. However, the best way to experience Parasite is to go in knowing as little as possible about the film. I have seen some people say that they refuse to watch this film because it has subtitles. Don’t be that person. Watch this movie as soon as you can. It is on Hulu and everyone should watch this movie at least once in their life because it is that damn good. It may even take more than one watch because of how much attention to detail this movie has, but it is worth it.