A family of unemployed manage to get a taste for the good life by integrating themselves in with a rich well-to-do family through nefarious means.
In a year full of Jokers, Irishmen, Jedi Knights & Superheroes, there’s only one film that has left a lasting impression on me. Bong Joon Ho has created a truly memorable movie and definitely one I would consider my film of the year! Read below to see why.
Breaking the Mold
Parasite’s biggest selling point for me is that it’s not defined by a specific genre. It has moments of great humor, drama, melancholy and unique beauty. Throw into that scenes of horror, class divide and poetic justice and you’re only beginning to scratch the surface of this film. It’s this mix-up of genres that make this film feel real. Life itself is full of wonder and horror and comedy and tragedy and seeing scenes like this unfold onscreen make for a level of realism lacking in most other movies. Sure it’s subtitled which usually would put me off a little but once you get into it, there’s something truly special to be experienced here.
Bong Joon Ho
A film written and directed by Bong Joon Ho deserves a special mention. His name mightn’t be well known to everyone but his previous work is amazing. Having penned both ‘Okja’ and ‘Snowpiercer’ it’s clear that this director has a vision outside of the norm. He paints wonderful imagery and creates interesting tales that are always worth a watch.
Parasite’s main story focuses on the class difference between two families and how the poor family wish to feed off the wealth and success of the rich family (hence the title). It goes much deeper than that basic premise and even offers different types of parasites (those willing to live off others scraps and those who harm their host). This movie begs to be re-watched. The layers of detail here are incredible and I imagine this movie will be studied by critics and film students for years to come.
The story centres around the character of Kim (played by Kang-ho Song). He has little in the way of redeemable qualities as he infiltrates the upper classes but he is earnest and has a charming presence which makes it difficult not to root for him. His character arc is also impressive as he seems to be the only one who learns and truly wants to change who is is. He acts as the focal point for most of the story however each family member gets plenty of screen time and infect the viewer in different ways (pun intended).
Nothing in this movie is an accident. The framing of camera shots, the position of the rich on high ground over the poor on low grounds, the costumes, lighting and visually stunning camera shots are all glorious. One of the most memorable scenes (minor spoilers) show an elitist family looking over their scenic gardens as a beautiful rain storm hits. In direct contrast to this, the same rain storm is flooding the lower slums and destroying family homes. All belongings are getting washed away in the storm while desolate desperate families cling to each other in scenes of panic. Both camera shots are equally stunning and beautiful in their own ways and help to show the big class divide that underlays the entire movie. Beautiful and poignant.
I don’t want to get into the story-line any further as this would give away too much. This movie deserves to be watched not talked about. 2019 was a year of great movies and some brilliant performances but none shine as bright as Parasite. This movie will stick with you long after you’ve watched it and I dare say you’ll end up watching it more than once. Go see it!!
Have you seen it yet? Who was your favorite character? Was the ending real? Let me know in the comments below!