zach cantin’s review published on Letterboxd:
Parasite (2019) review
WOW what an amazing cinematic experience! This film is without a doubt one of the best if not the best film of 2019, although this film is phenomenal it is in no way shape or forms a masterpiece as some say but not awful like some others say. There are many positives and negatives and I’ll get into those soon but let me get this out of the way to start. I would recommend this movie to absolutely everyone. I know it’s in Korean and some people like me aren’t huge fans of reading subs for an entire movie but I didn’t struggle to follow the story at all with the subs there not much-complicated dialogue and it’s pretty easy To follow the story as bong utilizes cinematic language to Communicate it’s themes, motifs, and story to the audience to make it easier to understand.
let’s start with the positives and this film has a lot, I go talk so much about what this film does right but I’ll try to keep it brief. First of all the cinematography in this film is astonishing, this film is without a doubt one of the most original and beautiful films I’ve seen in a while. The directing by Boon Jo Ho is fabulous with the shots he utilized, the transitions and how well these scenes are structured. Secondly, the plot twist the film pulls halfway into the film is one of the best I’ve EVER seen it twists the film In a direction that I never saw coming which makes the film much more interesting halfway into the film. After Geun-Se is rescued by his wife Moon-gwang the film gets much more tension and moves from a comedy into a dark thriller. I also really enjoy many performances especially from the dad and the son from the Kim family and also from the man who was stuck in the basement. Those three performances stood out to me, the other performances are not bad but just not as great. and finally, the last 30 minutes are excellent The birthday scene is almost a perfect scene with so much tension great acting and tragic deaths and the final daydream from the son dreaming about reuniting with his dad by buying the house hits extremely hard in the feels.there are many more thing I enjoy from the film like the score/music the sets design and much more but you get the point. There are so many great things done here.
This is where some of you will disagree with me as many think this film is flawless and practically a perfect film. I don’t believe so, there are many things wrong with the film, for example, the very slow first 25-30 minutes, very bland, simplistic and repetitive dialogue, many significant plot holes and fairly poor representation of social class In South Korea and modern capitalism in all social and cultural sense and also way too much hype that made the movie somewhat a disappointment. (can’t blame the film for that tho as it was just the fans over hyping it and not the film being bad) Let me stay with the plot holes, there are 2 big ones that I’m wanna talk about that I think makes no sense. First They get out with their phones in their pockets and go to their home completely drenched in rain and then into almost neck-deep water, yet their phones keep working the next morning just fine as they all receive call from the rich family. Now you might think that does not matter yet it dose if the Kim's phones don't work they don’t get the phone calls and texts from the parks witch means they don’t go to there house witch means that the man stuck In the basement of the basement is unable to escape as the Kim son is the one that ‘’frees him’’ witch mean the Kim daughter doesn't die and the park father doesn't die either and the man in the basement of the basement most likely dies of hunger witch means the whole 3 act now makes no sense. The second plot hole is when Da-song suddenly radios his parents Dong-ik and Yeong-gyo from his teepee to comfort him to sleep. At that moment, Ki-taek pauses from crawling in hopes the two would not notice him. He should have been caught in the act by the Parks. But no. Even with Da-song switching a flashlight on, he was not spotted. The adult Parks might not be the brightest but they still have at least peripheral vision to notice a sneaking man on the floor. The point here is the film has flaws unlike some think, most of these minor flaws but still flaws.
This film is amazing and very enjoyable with great twists and amazing directing by bong and if there should be a film from 2019 that should be studied and remembered it’s Parasite. A great film that every film lover should see at least once if not many times. For the last time this film is not a masterpiece or a bad/unenjoyable film in my opinion. For me it’s a high 8/10 that will slip into my top 25 films of all time. thanks to Bong, all the actors,makeup artists, set designers, costume designers, etc. for this great experience!