Brandon’s review published on Letterboxd:
PARASITE blew me away.
I’m going to be real honest, I haven’t slept in over 24 hours and I’m quite literally running on fumes and Starbucks right now, so I apologize if I’m incoherent or rambling — I swear it’s the lack of sleep talking and nothing more.
I was quite unaware of what exactly I was getting myself involved in when I put this on. My prior experiences with Bong Joon-ho were SNOWPIERCER and OKJA, and neither one really had an impact on me, they’re really well made, but I had a hard time connecting with the story (though after seeing PARASITE, it is making me want to watch his entire filmography, so maybe that will change on a revisit). But the moment this started, until the moment it ended I was locked onto my screen watching as each twist slowly revealed itself, I can’t even tell you the number of times I audibly gasped while watching this. This is such a fantastic screenplay for starters, and then it’s perfectly helmed by Joon-ho who meticulously weaves all of these stories together in this wild and crazy family drama (there’s more to it than just a family drama, but it’s the simplest way to describe it). Each character is wonderfully explored, each location is wonderfully utilized, every second of this film is perfectly crafted.
The acting in this absolutely left me speechless. There’s not one single weak link in the bunch. The entire Kim family deserves nominations come awards season, every single one of them delivered a performance that is still engrained in my memory, the facets of their personalities and psyches is so real that it slightly feels as if they weren’t acting at all. The Park family also give strong performances as well, but they aren’t the focus in this story, and they play their supporting roles expertly.
I don’t want to delve into plot, because I feel like if you’re going to watch this, you should go in as unprepared as possible, because quite frankly I don’t think there actually is a way to prepare you for this. Which is a compliment.
This is just good filmmaking from every single aspect. It looks gorgeous, from the look of the Park’s house, to the beautiful camerawork. The writing and the direction work hand-in-hand and balance this movie in a way that on paper seems impossible, but it works, the humor is pointed and poignant, the emotions are raw and real, the tension is subtle but ever present, the shock feels honest and never forced, the character’s development feel earned, and the ending somehow makes it all make sense. Then add in the acting, the caliber of the performances from the entire ensemble is something else, but it was the performances of Park So-dam and Cho Yeo-jeong that we’re my standouts.
Honestly, I haven’t stopped thinking about this film, and I’m perfectly fine with that. There’s a scene when the Kim family returns to their house to find it completely flooded, and I cannot explain why, but that whole entire part of the film has stayed with me since watching.
If you have the opportunity to watch this, please do.