“You know what kind of plan never fails? No plan at all.”Kang-ho Song as Kim Ki-take
By Cain Dennis
Bong Joon-Ho’s “Parasite” is a story of two families. It is also a film unlike any I’ve seen before. The way it leaps between genres without losing its tone or message is extremely impressive. After the movie’s opening that perfectly introduces its characters, we jump from comedy to drama to sheer horror, and each switch only bolsters the incredibly well done character development and progresses the message in a coherent way. In a lesser film, these shifts would allow important details to fall through the cracks or sacrifice character for shocking moments. In “Parasite” every single moment is earned.
“Parasite” inspects the social stratification of rich against poor through a lens of dark comedy. We are first introduced to The Kims, a family of four stricken by poverty in South Korea. We watch how they are able to scrape by with pure willpower and using their minds and relationships to find work and make money in ways that some would find unethical. We later meet the ridiculously wealthy Park family who members of the Kim family begin to work for. Without ruining key story points, I can really only say that the contrast between these two families serves as the main drive for the movie. We see how certain events impact both families differently, for instance, a heavy rain storm indicates a ruined camping trip for the wealthy Parks, but brings about a flood to The Kims. “Parasite” is a thesis on the psychology of money, and how the amount of wealth you have is directly tied in some ways, to the amount of difficulty you face in life, and how much hardship you can simply buy your way out of.
While I enjoy the message that “Parasite” presents, it would all be for nought if the film didn’t give it to us in an interesting and entertaining way. Bong Joon-Ho brings his story to the screen purposefully. The pace is perfectly calculated and there isn’t even a moment of dead air. Every single shot drips with visual storytelling. In conversation, I once stated that even though I don’t understand Korean, I could watch this film without subtitles and still have a complete understanding of what is going on. Even the dynamics and relationships between characters are painted in a way where we believe what we are being shown on screen. Joon-Ho’s exceptional storytelling never skips a beat, and as we draw into the second half of the movie, there are so many surprises and amazing moments.
No film is above criticism, but in my opinion, there’s nothing negative about this film that stands out over its positive aspects. Beautiful, shocking visuals paired with a basically flawless story that bleeds creativity while infusing timeless themes. “Parasite” is essential.
I give it a