Trying to fall in love with film again.

Parasite is as good as you've heard!

The Official Poster of Parasite.Story

The story revolves around the Kim family and how they infiltrated the lives of the rich Park family by replacing the people who work for them by recommending each other as unrelated and highly skilled service workers.

At its core, it is a story about people who will do anything to survive. the Kim family are struggling to make ends meet and when you contrast that with the Park family who seemingly has everything they could ever want, you can't blame them for their actions because a lot of us would do the same thing - if it wouldn't end the way this movie did.

The story here is one of those that gives you much to think about, and those are the best stories. Hours after I watched the movie, I was left thinking about all the directions the story could have gone (and could go) in, and I can guarantee it wasn't just me.

Acting 

The cast of this movie DID NOT COME TO PLAY! I know I use the word nuanced a lot in my reviews and I really mean it here. The characters in this, act and react like real people and said reactions are very subtle, from the twitching of an eyebrow to a knowing glance between family members. Without those subtleties, a lot of the lines wouldn't land the way they did, and the comedic moments wouldn't work.

The cast did a great job of showing the multi-faceted nature of human beings. No one in this movie is inherently bad or good, sure they do bad things but they have semi-good intentions, and that one of the many factors that made me enjoy this movie as much as I did. You look at the things they do and say and compare what they have done with their intentions and it makes for a really interesting point of contention. (I'm about to post a small spoiler, I'll put it in red so you'll know to ignore it. Don't worry I got you)

SMALL SPOILER: In the third act after the storm that floods the Kim's home, Choi Yeon-gyo (mother of the Park family) is on the phone and talks about the rain in a positive light. That shot is a deliberate one as you can see Kim Ki-taek in the front seat listening to someone say the rain that flooded his house with sewage was a blessing.

This scene is the best example of the differences in the lives of the main characters and how the complete indifference of the Park family weighs on the Kim family which is a catalyst for the events that occur at the end of the movie. And what makes this scene so brilliant is the subtlety of performance from the actors.

Writing/Direction

You know those movies that try to be really clever? This isn't one of those movies. Yes, it requires you to think a little but it's not purposely trying to confuse you or mislead you. It's the kind of movie that you can take at face value or think about more, the choice is up to you.

Parasite won an Oscar for Best Director which was 110% deserved (I say that having not seen the other movies that are nominated but here we are). I have only seen one other film by Bong Joon-Ho, 2014's Snowpiercer and I should have known that this movie was going to be good because Snopiercer is a brilliant film. And much like Parasite, it is a layered story that talks about wealth differentials and how the lives of the wealthy differ from the lives of the poor. (I'm starting to see a pattern here).

This movie is a black comedy thriller which is a very hard line to walk, too comedic and the comedy undercuts any kind of tension, too thrilling and the comedy appears out of place and unnecessary. There is a very good balance here. I genuinely laughed while watching some scenes and was dead silent in others. Bong Joon-Ho delivered a movie that does both without taking one away from the other. I know I mentioned subtlety in performance but I also have to mention the subtlety in the way the story unfolds. When you get to the end of the second act, you're sure that the film will go in one direction but then the plot twist happens (which was delivered beautifully by the way) and the movie takes a turn for the insane. Sometimes when out of left field plot twists happen, it derails the whole film and you're sometimes left bored and jarred by the final product but that doesn't happen here due to the streamlined nature of the writing. There isn't room for a side-story that ultimately means nothing and goes nowhere and that falls down to a well-written story and good pacing both of which this movie has in spades.

One of my favourite Youtube channels, Nerwriter has a fantastic video about one of my favourite parts of the movie. You should watch it and I will conveniently leave it for you to do so (when you've finished reading this of course)



CGI/Set Design

The best way to describe the set design in this movie is sleek. There are a lot of sharp edges which gives the movie a very sophisticated look to it which I love. Whenever I talk about Gone Girl, I always mention the colour palette and how it's aesthetically pleasing. I have the exact same thing to say about Parasite, not only is it a good movie, but it also LOOKS good. The interesting thing I picked up about the colour palette in this movie is how it reflects the two families. When the Kim family are in their home, the colour palette is darker whereas, with the Park family, the colour palette is a lot warmer and brighter. That could be for two reasons. one of them being the difference in where the two families live. The Kim's live in a semi-basement whereas the Park's live in a huge house with a beautiful window that lets in a lot of sunlight. The other reason could be more symbolic. The brighter and warmer colour palette that the Park's have could symbolize the light at the end of the tunnel that the Kim's are trying to get to. They too want a big beautiful house where they can sit and bask in the sun.

When I watched Bong Joon-Ho's notes on a scene (which you can watch here).I found out that CGI is used a lot in the movie and I didn't know because it looks seamless. That being said, you're not really checking for CGI in a movie like this.

Score/Soundtrack

The score in this movie is a thing of beauty. It's very minimal and suits the tone of the movie perfectly. And as the movie gets more intense the score does the same which creates a perfect balance between the music and the visuals. The composer Jung Jae-il did a fantastic job of creating music that matches its accompanying scene perfectly. In the aforementioned montage, Jung Jae-il uses an excerpt from Handel's Rodelinda opera and Nerwirter uses the perfect word to describe it. He calls it balletic and that's exactly what is it.

Overall Thoughts 

I'm probably the last person to see this movie and because of that, I went into it with very high expectations, seeing as it won an Oscar two weeks ago and I have to say... This movie is fantastic. It exceeded ALL of my expectations, and I'm not just saying that. This movie really is that good. It's a masterfully made movie that is both comedic and thrilling without trying too hard to be either. It's also thought-provoking as well. I finished watching it at 1am and was up till 2:30 because I kept thinking about the societal structure in South Korea that the movie shows and how it doesn't differ that from Nigeria. It is commonplace to have a cook, driver, housekeeper, and tutor for your kids. And many times you see people disregard those people like they don't have their own struggles. Yes, they work for you, but that doesn't mean they are any less than you.

All in all, Parasite is a masterfully made film, it is good no matter how you slice it. A solid story with, fantastic direction, great performances, and solid cinematography. It's an Oscar win that was well deserved and I cannot wait to see what director Boon Joon-Ho does next because right now he's two for two. Excuse me while I go and watch his entire discography.

Oscar Recap

Number of Nominations - 6
  • Best Picture 
  • Best Director 
  • Best Original Screenplay 
  • Best International Feature Film
  • Best Production Design 
  • Best Film Editing
Number of Wins -  4
  • Best Picture 
  • Best Director 
  • Best Original Screenplay 
  • Best International Feature Film
*One more thing to add, if you're hesitant to watch this movie because it isn't in English, I have one thing to say to you 
Image result for bong joon ho subtitles gif

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