“Parasite” Review, written by Jake Maddia (Photo: Amazon)
Parasite is a movie directed by Bong Joon-ho and stars Cho Yeo-Jeong, Park So-dam, Choi Woo-Shik, Kang-Ho Song, Jeong Ji-so, Lee Sun Gyun, Jang Hye-Jin, and Jeong Hyun-joòn. The film follows a very down-on-their-luck family that takes a special interest in a very wealthy family. Since everyone in the down-on-their-luck family is unemployed, they find a way to get jobs working for this wealthy family in very private positions. This whole time the wealthy family has no idea that these people are all related, and are scamming them, but when something rather unexpected happens, it changes both of these families’ lives forever.
Bong Joo-ho is one of the best directors working today because all of his movies follow very unique premises, and he proves that again with Parasite. In fact, I think this might be the best movie he has made so far. One of the things that makes Parasite so great are the performances. I am not familiar with these actors at all but everyone in this film gives top-notch performances. Usually, I would say which actor did the best, and why, but honestly, everyone was so good in this movie that I can’t say who did the best. It is one of those movies where everyone is just on there A-game. The reason these performances are so good is because you really feel for these characters despite the fact that they are not particularly doing the right thing. The viewer, nonetheless, understands why these characters are doing these actions.
Aside from the performances and the intriguing characters, another great thing about the movie is the way it balances genres. At first glance, you may be under the impression that this movie is a pure dramatic thriller. However, the movie actually relies very heavily on satire, which is wonderful because I hate seeing overly pretentious movies that think they are above their audiences. Thankfully, Bong Joon-ho side steps this completely and gives us a movie that is just as hilarious as it is thrilling. The film also does a good job at not stereotyping rich people. Usually, when I see movies like this, they tend to give rich people a pretty negative vibe. That is not the case with Parasite. The movie also has a beautiful score composed expertly by Jaeli Jung.
In addition to its other attributes, the best aspect to this movie is Bong Joon-ho’s immaculate direction. Since so much of this story is told through visuals we get a lot of nonverbal storytelling, and Bong Joon-ho does so perfectly in almost every frame. He is also very good at capturing the film’s environment. There are times where it feels as if you are in the same world as these characters are. Whether a scene is taking place in this affluent family’s house or in the not-so-wealthy area, you feel like you are there. The movie is also great in regards to intensity. There is one scene in particular that was just some of the best tension I have seen in a film all year. Bong Joon-ho’s direction makes this movie feel like a modern day Alfred Hitchcock movie, and I absolutely loved it. The movie also has some of the best scenery I have seen in a movie all year. If this movie is not nominated for its cinematography I would actually be upset.
None of the previously mentioned aspects of Parasite would matter if it weren’t for the film’s fascinating theme exploring the psychology of money, and how it makes people go crazy. I thought that was a really interesting theme, but I have to say the thing that surprised me the most about this movie has to be the third act. I am not going to get into any spoilers but the third act of this film is absolutely marvelous because it just completely pulls the rug out from underneath the viewer, and it just changes the way you look at the entire movie. In regards to issues, our protagonists are not exactly that likable because they are essentially con artists. Although you can understand where they are coming from, it is still a little hard to root for them because their actions are not exactly the best, but that’s my only real issue with the movie. In the end, Parasite is one of the best movies I have seen all year. If you are looking for a well-directed social satire then I highly recommend Parasite for you. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
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