This is the most “non-boring” movie I have ever seen in my entire life. Like, how is it possible for somebody to not find this entertaining? HOW?
In 2013, acclaimed South Korean director Bong Joon-ho released his science-fiction thriller Snowpiercer—a SEVERELY underrated wonder that used a never-ending train as a metaphorical abstraction of a social ladder. It was an event that employed its post-apocalyptic setting, a world where it was nearly too damn cold for people to thrive on, to show that, no matter the situation, hierarchy would always remain relevant among humans. All though, these implications were important for the very subjects the film was cold-bloodedly judging (people), they were arguably patent. The picture came off as fairly surface-leveled commentary. It was as if the film was a warm-up for what was to come six years down the road…
Parasite is essentially Joon-ho taking on this theme of “class” for a second batting. This time around, however, the memo feels more obscured by the dim and contrasting ideologies of its fluctuating characters. The movie sets out to explore its title (Parasite) to the fullest degree, paralleling the poor life to a set of anguished insects but using the rich personas as the guilty initiators of the infectious swarm.
From themes of intelligence over riches to ego vs. priorities, Parasite contrives to say so much without feeling overly preachy—which is a tricky maneuver to pull off. It’s a duel, full-course meal that lets you enjoy while simultaneously letting you suffer in the most inconceivably menacing approach imaginable. Through a three-act structure like no other, each act invokes a new theme, a new idea, all surrounding the central concept of social status. But most fatally, each segment conducts divergent tones, ultimately stirring a sufficient blend of mixed emotions and further creating the psychological detriments that Parasite delivers so devilishly to its audience.
Parasite is a checklist for a masterpiece, honestly. Stainless casting? Check. Cinematography that’ll make your insides riddle with anticipation. Check. One of the shrewdest scripts of ALL-TIME. Check. Holy original Bong Joon-ho execution? Check. Somehow, a film made by one of South Korea’s greatest directors of all-time found a way to surpass expectations. It’s a baffling, cinematic affair if I’d ever seen one.
Parasite manages to be the funniest, darkest, and the most persuasive film of 2019, thus far. It’s a theater experience like no other, that leads you in about five different directions, with five different presumptions, until it becomes so uncontrollably maddening that it leaches through the viewers’ bodies like a dirty, pesky bug. It’s game-changing, frankly. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie quite as riveting as Parasite in years.
All-Time Favorites, The Victors of the 2010s, 2019 Ranked
“Parasite” is now playing in select theaters.