Josh Barton’s review published on Letterboxd:
Act like you own the place.
Bong Joon-ho is a South Korean filmmaker with a very diverse filmography and one who brings a distinct reputation with him when releasing a film, the Bong Hive being the name of his devoted fanbase. His latest film, Parasite, gets a long awaited release in the UK and going into this one blind is one of the best decisions you could ever make.
All unemployed, Ki-taek (Song Kang-ho) and his family take peculiar interest in the wealthy and glamorous Parks, as they ingratiate themselves into their lives and get entangled in an unexpected incident.
Parasite is an absolute triumph from Bong Joon-ho, his film building and building to a crescendo that I didn't see coming at all. It's a brilliantly written film, the humour running through the social commentary of class separation often genius throughout and the dark humour that takes things to the next level utterly breathtaking. There's a real intricacy to the screenplay, co-written by Bong and Han Jin-won, taking time to introduce us to the characters in such a way it makes what unfolds even more hard-hitting.
It isn't just the screenplay that deserves special mention for its intricacy, the production design on Parasite providing a stunning backdrop for the narrative to unfold. The time and effort that goes into making something as wonderful as the Park's family home always amazes me and it pays off majorly with its maze-like features almost serving as a character itself. Hong Kyung-pyo's sweeping cinematography through the narrow corridors and lower-class neighbourhood where the Kims actually live is beautifully neat and Yang Jin-mo's score accompanies the film with a wonderfully symphonic prowess.
Coming to the performances, Parasite is full of great performances from a cast who have been nothing but infectious this awards season. It's very much an ensemble piece, each of them getting their moment to showcase their talents but the stand-outs for me were Song Kang-ho, Park So-dam and Cho Yeo-jeong.
Parasite is Bong Joon-ho's magnum opus and has set an incredibly high bar for the rest of 2020 in film to live up to. I haven't been as fully engrossed in a film as I was watching this masterpiece unfold and I can only imagine it's going to get better with each viewing.