javier bardem’s review published on Letterboxd:
“Parasite” is the most acclaimed foreign film of the year, and the winner of the Palme d’Or in Cannes has a director who is very well-known to the international public. Bong Joon-ho had already caused a stir at the french festival in 2017, due to the selection of his film “Okja,” a Netflix production, and in 2019 he appeared with an astonishing film about a family of unemployed South Koreans who go on to try to infiltrate all members as employees of a rich family.
When viewing a film like this, the less you know about it, the better.
Unpredictable, purely original, and purposeful in all technical elements, this film got it all. The film follows the story of two different families whose lives become entangled out of pure survival. Mr. Bong becomes a cinematic magician who pulls every trick with another in such effortless manner. The genre mutation, twisted narratives, and tonal changes are some of Mr. Bong’s filmmaking obsessions, and he did it so consistently, smoothly and convincingly in Parasite.
Besides Mr. Bong’s great experimentation on styles, shots, and writing—he is also a director’s actor who perfectly calibrates his actors’ performances to a particular style or tone. His great attention to lead Song Kang-ho for instance, is a masterclass and in turn Mr. Song gives a blistering performance as the family’s patriarch.
There’s a lot going on in the film but I better not spoil to everybody. The film is a cruel examination on South Korean society and the class division that it ensues. But the great thing like with all of Mr. Bong’s films is the universality of his themes and in Parasite every emotional beat has depth and it’s quite convincing.
Overall, Parasite is probably Bong Joon-ho’s best film of his career and certainly a benchmark for the entire cinema of South Korea. You have to see it to believe it as one of the year's best films.