Parasite (2019) Review
Living in a cramped sub-basement apartment, the Kim family dream of a better life. When a friend of their son’s brings a scholar’s rock and sets up son Ki-woo with a tuition job for a rich family, it seems like things might be turning around.
Within one day in the house Ki-woo sees opportunity and concocts a plan to get his sister Ki-jeong in to the house working with the families younger son as an the art therapist. Once in the house, the pair set in motion a series of events that lead to both of their parents working within the house. It’s easy, well paid work, and all they’ve had to do is lie and create false identities. Unfortunately nothing is ever quite what it seems, and their actions set in motion a chain of events that neither family could have seen coming.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve been hearing praise for Parasite since the summer of 2019, but I somehow managed to go in almost cold, with little to no idea of the plot of the film. This worked in my favour, as it allowed me to work out the plot and twists with the characters and truly engage.
Within minutes the subtitles blurred away and I was able to completely absorb myself in the story. The acting is superb, the direction smart and the script sharp. The name is a play on words for many reasons, and you’ll be wondering who the titular parasite of the film is.
The Parks mansion is just as much a character in the film, and its glass walls and many levels exemplify the class difference within the Kim and Park families. Whilst the story is universal, it’s hard to imagine this story set in a different culture as the class divide is so strong with Korean culture. Comments regarding the certain smell of clothing, the issue with living below ground and the desperate desire to be educated. But the themes are universal – desire, discontent and desperation.
I’m so glad this film has got the attention and recognition it deserves. Its whip smart, perfectly paced and brilliantly acted. My only flaw with the film is the last 10 minutes. I personally didn’t need the epilogue and would have preferred an open ending. But otherwise it’s a pretty perfect film that feels fresh, original and raw. I laughed, gasped and spent plenty of time on the edge of my seat. It’s safe to say I’m in the Bong-Hive now.