At this point, it should be no surprise that Bong Joon Ho is known as one of the best filmmakers in the industry after making some amazing flicks such as Memories of Murder, Mother, Snowpiercer and Okja. However, his latest film Parasite has truly put him on the map. Since its world premiere at Cannes Film Festival last year, it has become such a cultural phenomenon. It also won the Palme d’Or at the festival, which made it the first South Korean feature to win this prestigious award. It absolutely deserves the praise it’s been getting from both critics and moviegoers, and it showcases the fact that international cinema deserves to be seen everywhere. Parasite is everything you’re looking for in a movie like this, and it truly shows that filmmaking can be a compelling form of art.
The film revolves around the Kim family living in a basement apartment in a poor neighbourhood and taking on menial jobs like folding pizza boxes. They decide to eventually scam their way into being hired by the Parks, a very wealthy family, by posing themselves as highly qualified people for well-paid positions such as an English tutor and art therapist. As the movie goes on, something crazy happens that will threaten to destroy both of these families’ lives, and that’s the premise of Parasite in a nutshell.
While Bong Joon Ho is obviously the main star of the film, you still have to praise the entire cast for giving such phenomenal performances. Everyone shines in the movie, and they all add something important to the overall narrative. All the characters are fully developed with their own interesting backstory, which makes you invested in both of these families’ unique lives. What’s also worth mentioning is that no one is really a hero or villain, and this allows you to deeply connect with them on a personal and empathetic level.
From start to finish, Parasite is insanely entertaining. Not one scene feels left out, which shows that Bong Joon Ho wants the audience to be fully immersed into the premise. Whenever characters are interacting with one another, you are invested in the witty and smart dialogue coming from the director’s excellent script. His screenplay is both incredibly funny and dark, but he still finds a nice way to properly balance the two tones throughout. The first half is quite hilarious, but then it starts to embrace a much darker narrative during the second half of the film. The moment you leave the theater, you will keep thinking about the story and start asking questions along the way, which is something that Parasite does extremely well.
In the end, this is easily Bong Joon Ho’s best feature from his entire filmography. It is a clever and emotionally investing story that is elevated with phenomenal acting performances, a clever script, brilliant direction and beautiful cinematography. It’s also proof that South Korean cinema continues to thrive in the film industry. Parasite is not just one of the best movies of 2019 — it’s a masterpiece.
Parasite is now available to buy on DVD or Bluray.