Parasite by Bong Joon-Ho has probably gotten millions of reviews already, but that won’t stop me from sharing my two cents, even if nobody else ever reads it. Especially since I doubt anybody is going to agree with my opinion.
First off – I love Korean films. Those guys know how to tug your emotional strings all right. However, Parasite is not an emotional roller-coaster, but one of those rides, I don’t know if you’ve ever been on one, but the kind that first goes 180 degree up, then 180 degree down and then takes a 360 turn. So it has a lot of highs, some lows and then things just get out of hand.
The plot it simple – a poor broke family of four cons its way into a rich household of four through pretty dubious means, but are not ready for the unseen consequences. Bong Joon-Ho doesn’t even do any foreshadowing to prepare us for some of the plot twists, so you might gasp in surprise at some points. But there are also some scenes which are so irritatingly slow that you wish Joon had chopped some seconds.
All the actors deliver flawless performances, each fitting into the narrative perfectly. However, for me, it was Cho Yeo-jeong, the actress who plays the rich mistress of the house, who steals the show. She is so delicately gullible in the film that one cannot help but like her.
Kang-Ho Sang, who plays the patriarch of the poor family, gives a nuanced performance, making palpable his greed, envy and loathing for his rich overlords. I won’t get into the whole social/economic divide displayed in the film; too much has been written about it already. But you have to give it to the writers for the brilliant juxtaposition they use to subtly point out the differences between the rich and the poor. It’s all too witty and captivating.
The climax of the film was pretty damn good but things escalate too quickly. The pace of this film is all over the place. The ending was tragically comic but somehow not very satisfactory.
Although I do think this film was definitely Oscar worthy, but did it deserve the Oscar? I don’t know. Jo Jo Rabbit was a more fun and fulfilling movie experience for me. And I still have to watch 4 of the other Oscar nominees for the best films, which I do intend to do over the next few days.