Director: Bong Joon-ho
Writer: Bong Joon-ho, Han Jin-won
Cast: Song Kang-ho, Jang Hye-jin, Choi Woo-shik, Park So-dam, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong, Jung Ji-so, Jung Hyun-joon, Lee Jung-eun, Park Myung-hoon
Parasite is a South Korean movie directed by Bong Joon-ho (who also directed the amazing “Snowpiercer” in 2013) that follows the members of a poor household struggling to even put food on the table. When their son lands a tutoring job teaching English to the daughter of a wealthy man, the poor family comes up with a brilliant plan to become the employees of the wealthy family by posing as unrelated, highly-qualified individuals.
Going into this movie, I didn’t really know what it was about as I avoided watching any trailers, and so I didn’t know what to expect. All I knew was that it was the same director as Snowpiercer, a movie that I found great yet disturbing at the same time. This is exactly how I felt when the end credits rolled for Parasite.
Just like Snowpiercer, Parasite explores themes of class disparity. Where Snowpiercer was set in a fictional future in which the population of Earth lived on a train, Parasite took its inspiration from the real world, and even though Snowpiercer was more disturbing visually, Parasite had a greater impact on me because of how real it felt. The production designers did an excellent job designing and building the mansion and the poor neighborhood for this movie, so much so that I thought these were real locations. Cinematography and lighting also played an important role in highlighting the differences between the families. For instance, the Kims’ basement apartment felt cramped and claustrophobic because of the way it was filmed, while the Parks’ mansion was filmed with wide shots and warm colors.
Another thing this movie does really well is the shift in tone between the first and second acts. The movie starts out as a comedy, delivering some truly smart and hilarious moments. Towards the middle though, the movie takes a rather dark turn, transitioning from a comedy to a horror, and the director does a great job handling this shift in tone, making it seem natural and plausible.
Last but not least, the performances in the movie were overall excellent, but the standout performances to me were Song Kang-ho as Kim Ki-taek and Cho Yeo-jeong as Park Yeon-gyo. Song Kang-ho brings some intensity and much needed comedy to the movie, and he does so brilliantly, while Cho Yeo-jeong is delightful as the charismatic naive wife. Choi Woo-shik and Park So-dam are also great as the Kim siblings, and their on-screen chemistry is truly a joy to watch.
Parasite is a well-directed, thought-provoking movie that left me quite uncomfortable after having seen it. Despite that, I absolutely loved it, and I truly believe that everyone should watch it. Through this movie, Bong Joon-ho proves once again that he is one of the best directors out there, and I look forward to seeing his future projects.
Star Rating: (8.5 / 10)
Have you had a chance to check out Parasite? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below!