Parasite ★★★★★

By fortunate means I am able to view this Palme d’Or winner and it has been the highlight of 2019! I’m so ecstatic that I might just write my entire review tonight!

A huge fan of Bong Joon Ho and my most anticipated picture this year, so this had a lot riding on it but Parasite is delivered flawlessly. So much so that it almost overshadows some of Ho’s more high-tier works. As much as it pains me to say, this is his best picture. Without a single doubt in my mind (and Ho has a fierce and diverse filmography).

Great direction and movement paired with some concise editing make this film as seamless as you can get. The set pieces are used expertly, (especially the main house) and the cinematography shifts from light-hearted to supremely wicked really quick. Every change this movie can it throws some surprising imagery juxtaposed between fluorescent rich color and urban, gritty lighting. Every single frame of this film feels engaging and important. I can only imagine what I could find on a second viewing. 

One of the most original concepts I’ve seen in a long time. I’m so glad that I didn’t get this plot spoiled for me. There is so much spontaneous energy and tension in this picture, that a review that is too revealing could take such a bite out of the viewing. So I’ll tread lightly and just say that this film is a one of a kind ride and a true testament to the threshold that is Korean cinema.

The writing never falters or attempts to stray far from the main points of Parasite. Even though some plot points come off as surprising, the leg work for it can always be found. There’s an interesting cycle and debate I’d love to have about some of these ideas but, I’ll save that for it’s actual release.

Great slew of characters! Even in the early stages of this film, you feel how dynamic and interesting these people are. The cast make them feel so natural, you almost forget it’s a movie. It’s all orchestrated to real perfection. Ho has a knack of picking a very tight knit crew that work naturally together (especially this and The Host). 

Cast wise, I felt completely impressed by Song Kang-ho’s performance. He’s great in Park’s films and Ho’s earlier works but this is the best role I’ve seen him in this far. I just can’t shake some of his scenes lose from my head. Such an incredible man! (The rest of the cast is phenomenal but I’m trying to keep this short!)

This soundscape is so vivid. It feels like I was actually there! As the movie continues it gets more and more immersive. When the big plot points catch up to us we begin to really feel this luxurious setting. Especially towards the climax of the film that sound is so vicious and sharp. It’s just so incredibly effective. 

The scorework is brilliant and manages to tow all the themes this film utilized without skipping a beat. It can be brooding with a sinister appetite or it can be a quiet and humble delight. When it starts going though, there isn’t a damn thing that could stop it.

Like with his other works Bong Joon Ho creates an incredible parallel between the higher and the lower class. This might just be the culmination of all of his work coming together because it is the most impactful of his attempts at that kind of social commentary. Very reminiscent of last years Burning and Shoplifters in that regard but something new altogether. 

If you can only see one film this year, make it this one! You won’t regret it!

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