Parasite ★★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Bong Joon-ho's Parasite is absolutely, almost immeasurably incredible. The most spectacular quality about it is it's ability to completely defy any Western ideals of genre, opting to forge its own identity with fury and marvelous execution. In some respects it's a razor-sharp comedy that laughs in the face of imposter syndrome, and on the other hand it's this beautiful image of a family fighting tooth and nail to make the best life for one another. Parasite taps into what I believe is a universal ideal; that of making something of yourself in life, in order to repay what your family has given you. Parasite is the most poignant example of this that I've seen, with the film's climax offering such an emotional gut punch that I was genuinely speechless afterwards. Right as I thought the film was wrapped up after it's explosive denouement, I was hit with the father and son's messages to one another that makes it a masterpiece in my opinion; this family serves as a parallel to every family, both biological and otherwise, building each other up and striving to their best, especially when everything seems completely unsalvageable. I was already totally on board with the film, but it was the knockout of a final sequence that solidified this as my favourite film of the year so far.

What's more amazing is the fact that this beautiful message about familial bonds within difficult societal structures is nested within one of the darkest, funniest films I've seen in recent memory. joon-Ho's ability to walk this line at such a perfect pitch is something that never comes across as showy, and it's so satisfying to be whipped about from hilarity, to fear, to tension, to sadness. Similarly to Cuaron's Roma, the seemingly objective presentation of every new emotional beat in the film does wonders to make the narrative feel both lived-in and universal. It's a master stroke of film-making that I was laughing during the major sabotage montage, and feeling deeply upset when the human impact is portrayed a moment later.

It was so great watching Parasite in a theatre of people, all equally enraptured with and on board with Bong joon-ho's vision of insane, hyper-real humanism. Every joke landed immensely, and so too did every moment of stark realism. I can't wait to watch this again, because even though everything is seemingly laid out on the table, I feel there's so much more to be unveiled and enjoyed when viewing this again. Absolutely my favourite film of 2019 so far, anyone on the fence is deeply encouraged to seek it out.

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