Parasite ★★★★

“Does Oxford have a major in document forgery? Your sister would be top of the class.”

lots to unpack here. a family film, but not family-friendly. a drama, a comedy, a thriller, a horror movie. a social commentary, a captivity narrative. Parasite is many things but certainly not conventional. it’s this straying from genre formalities and embracing of a wildly engaging mix that makes it an experience™️. 

it’s a Bong Joon-Ho film alright. social commentary comes upfront but compared to the other three i’ve seen from him (The Host, Snowpiercer, Okja) this is the most grounded in reality and execution alike. the critique of social class is confined to essentially two model families and their respective homes as the main spaces, particularly the luxurious Park mansion with its sleek look. tensions rise as the gap becomes wider. 

the elegant camerawork mirrors this exhibition of riches with gliding motions around the house and full of rigid lines that set the caged mood. fantastic cinematography really, like watching a designer catalogue become a horror story. tense from the beginning but about halfway through it flips the switch and without saying too much... it’s a development to behold. i did not expect to feel SO MUCH and even less to laugh like i did. 

Bong Joon-Ho’s direction is so rhythmic and lulls you with a comfortable speed at first that then exceedingly escalates as things come together. and wow these actors make it look easy. one of my favorite general cast performances this year for sure. each of them an enigma that ever so slowly unveils their character’s truth. Kang-ho Song stands out. what a feast! 

had to watch in a cinema with only a french subtitled version which was exhausting as fuck since i’m not that good with the language anymore. very much worth the strain though and the film obviously speaks a thousand times more through visuals.

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