Ben Rendich’s review published on Letterboxd:
It disappoints me that so many people adore this movie. I don’t want to be a discordant opinion — especially because I stand in the totally opposite camp. It’s not as though I simply didn’t care for Parasite: I think it’s a gross failure.
I want to articulate what I have to say without coming off as condescending... this movie tricks its audience into believing what happens. The whole affair is false, contrived; people don’t actually behave like this. And I don’t buy the argument that it’s all a metaphor — because it is, but metaphors need to evince an underlying human truth. Parasite reveals nothing except a shallow estimation that wealthy people are gullible and to be resented, while poor people are devious and to be pitied.
And yes, widespread poverty is a crisis of our world that we have the power to alleviate — but this movie does nothing to suggest how we might do so. Its stylish pessimism is merely a sign of its lack of imagination. And its lack of real care.
Writer and director Bong Joon-ho thinks he’s done something brilliant. We’re fools to applaud him for this manipulating, unnuanced travesty of socioeconomic injustice. Parasite only makes the problem worse: it lets us feel bad, and so enables our complacency.
“That was a really good movie,” we say, and then toddle home to scroll through our phones and nod off to sleep.