Star Cast: Kang-ho Song, Sun-kyun Lee, Yo-jeong Jo, Woo-sik Choi, So-dam Park, Hey-jin Jang and Jeong-Eun Lee.
Director: Bong Joon Ho.
What’s Good: With every frame a metaphor and each scene a twist, transcending borders, Parasite is Bong Joon Ho’s best and the most hard-hitting socio-commentary that the world has seen through cinema at least in this decade.
What’s Bad: If you don’t watch it.
Loo Break: You won’t need any if you snooze you will lose.
Watch or Not?: WATCH! You are missing on a film that will shatter you, move you and leave you with a thoughtful question if you don’t go for this one.
What can one say about the film that has already won the Palm d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival 2019? Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite is a metaphorical commentary on the social-economic strata that talks about the haves and the have nots while telling you a thrilling story and one like no other.
Parasite talks about two families majorly, the Parks and the Kims. Kims live in a semi-basement (half above the ground and half below) which isn’t completely cut off from the world. Struggling to make living the Kim family is striving hard to earn and live their dream life. A coupe lands Kim’s son a job with the wealthy Park’s, who then hatches other plans to bring his complete family as the serving staff in the rich household. The Kim’s have now taken over all the jobs including a tutor, the Art teacher, driver and the household without letting the Park’s know that they are a family.
The Park’s are everything that Kim’s are not. They have a fine mansion (modern palace would be the right term), money, respect but are cut out from the world that is outside their mansion to a level where they are dumb enough to be fooled. What happens when these two worlds collide is the film?
Parasite Movie Review: Script Analysis
Where should I begin? Aptly described by Bong Joon Ho as “a comedy without clowns and a tragedy without villains”, Parasite is a master class of how to weave an idea into a narrative that speaks to not just the language it is made in but the globe as one.
Parasite wins the game just with its title. According to the dictionary, Parasite means, “an organism that lives in or on an organism of another species (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the other’s expense.” And the film is just that. Though it does not tell you who the parasite is at any stage, it is you who is the judge, it clearly tells you the stark reality you are living in.
The script never terms anyone a villain. The Kim’s may be poor but they are clever and cunning to make their ends meet. The rich Park’s who own almost everything that the Kim’s don’t, are coil, to an extent dumb. They do have their boundaries set for the people below their economic strata but they blurred somewhere and hail the God Bong Joon Ho is, he uses the mere smell/odour to show you how these lines are blurred. It is a scene where the Kim couple is discussing the odour of the people driving by the subway when the husband defines it as “Like a rag that has been boiled.” You instantly know the height of the wall that the rich have built so that the poor don’t infiltrate their society. But at the end of the day, the poor do, and what happens when the infiltrate is Parasite.
The script knows the story it is telling. While the rich have their first world problems, it is the middle and the under poverty strata that are fighting with each other to oppress the other. Moral of the story, the oppressing opens the gates of irritation (in the film there is actually a flood) and the most oppressed turns into an animal killing every other contender there possibly is. Watch the film to understand.
Parasite Movie Review: Star Performance
Bringing in the perfect nuance needed is the cast of the film. The conviction to play characters that are clueless about their next plans but are full of hope that they will be the winners, the cast of Parasite does the job to the utmost perfection.
Actors Kang-ho Song, Sun-kyun Lee, Yo-jeong Jo, Woo-Sik Choi, So-dam Park, Hey-jin Jang and Jeong-Eun Lee all deserve a mention and an ovation.
Parasite Movie Review: Direction, Music
Bong Joon Ho clearly needs no more validation. The director is in full control of his art and at no point lets any tread fall lose. Though he tells you different variation the title of the film but never tells you who the Parasite is.
Who is the Parasite? The Park’s, who are clueless about the world that is outside their high gates, or the Kim’s who have infiltrated the Park household? Or Kim’s dream for a better life that has eaten their senses to see what is wrong or right? Or the lowest basement dwellers who have been exploiting the rich secretly like the rodents?
All of this is bonded by powerful background music that transits from happy, to mysterious, to suspensive but keeping in mind the thrilling melancholy that is always present.
Parasite Movie Review: Production Design:
The production design of the film is research in itself. The set bifurcates the three-levels by placing them in a huge spacious mansion at the top of the city, to a semi-basement that is almost ruined, to the lowest basement that has never been touched by sunlight ever. Also, the film connects the metaphors by lots and lots of stairs. Stair to the basement, stairs going to the mansion. Stairs going down to the township of the poor that is placed at such low level where all the garbage is bound to flow when the flood gates open. If a viewer is not into metaphors, the sets do the job and it is commendable.
The mansion that the Park’s live in is the most immaculate set we have seen in recent times.
Parasite Movie Review: The Last Word
Watch Parasite and you must. Witness what magic cinema is capable of and the spellbound art that it can create. Go for it!
Parasite releases on 11th October, 2019.
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