madelyn✨’s review published on Letterboxd:
it's so metaphorical!
i grip my hands over my mouth when i get anxious. i was doing this the entire last half of this film.
i really don't want to get into specifics because i know a lot of people still haven't seen this and it really is best to not go in knowing the big twist.
Bong Joon-ho is such a genius when making a movie about an Issue. While sometimes films centered around a social issue don't know what they're trying to say, it's clear Bong Joon-ho knows exactly what he wants the audience to leave with. He knows how to craft a film that explores themes with nuance and creativity. It's not so much that he's explicitly saying, "rich people are bad, poor people are good." That message is boring and too binary, he knows his audience is smarter than that. Instead, Bong Joon-ho knows how to craft complex narratives and characters to paint a picture that the audience has to interpret themselves. None of Parasite is clear-cut, even the title leaves you questioning the motives of some of the characters, but you never question whether Bong Joon-ho himself has good intentions when it comes to what he wants his films to say about the world.
There were moments where I was actually angry at the characters. There were moments where it felt like the character's stakes were mine, that I was so invested in their success or safety. The set up and pay offs where so well done, nothing was left in the air or unused in the story. The TENSION!! I was actually sweating I was so worried. The metaphors of the house, the wealth rock, etc, were interesting and simple to follow, yet very complex in how they operated in the story. It's easy at the surface level to understand what the wealth rock means, I think Bong Joon-ho even pokes fun that this with the repeated line "It's so metaphorical!" But how the wealth rock operates throughout the whole story offers some more unresolved interpretations, which makes for a better story.
There was just something about Ki‑jeong that I loved, maybe it was when she grabbed that peach (the shot is in the trailer so I'm not worried about that spoiling anything), or how she held herself, I don't know. She just was very smart and not afraid to push her other family members. Park Chung-sook also was like her daughter in that she held her own. Ki‑woo went through an incredible transformation by the end of the film, I actually started tearing up. Kang-Ho Song is a fantastic actor and really became the central player as Kim Ki-taek by the end of the film.
I would love to discuss the ending in detail, because at that point you really see the conclusion of some of the film's themes, but I don't want to spoil anything. Let's just say it's beautiful and made me tear up, but also made me very sad. Also, I can't forget to mention the set design! Incredible! Also the cinematography had some fantastic moments, especially with the use of slow-mo.
WATCH THIS MOVIE!! BONGHIVE FOREVER!!