“Parasite” was a very unique film.
The film is about a poor family, the Kims, living in a basement level apartment, jobless and living in squalor, who comes into great fortune when their son, is offered an opportunity to tutor a high-school-aged girl of the wealthy Park family because the current tutor is leaving to study abroad.
After arranging some forged documents and convincing the mother of his skill as a tutor, he has an in with the family. Soon, his older sister is introduced as a talented artist and art therapist for the Park’s youngest son. The father replaces the family’s driver. The mother comes in as the new housekeeper. A series of sly, coordinated cons have outwitted the trusting Park family who are none the wiser. However, when one new fact comes to light, it threatens to take down their entire plan in one fell swoop.
The film is a commentary on social class and wealth versus poverty. It is a thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout. There are various cringe-worthy moments that make you stop to think about what you might do in a similar circumstance. The first opportunity was a gift of sorts, the second seemed like something still reasonable, but after that things start to get out of hand. As the film progresses, the recurring question in my mind was, “What wouldn’t they do to further their status, influence, wealth at other people’s expense?” There isn’t really anything redeeming in the film.
Director Bong Joon Ho did an excellent job. The shots are stylistic and the cinematography of the film is very unique. In specific, the way he used the modern style of the house to frame shots and tell the story behind the story was superb. Bong Joon Ho’s fingerprints are all over the film. He had a hand in writing much of the screenplay that went beyond the dialog in the film.
The film was a surprise winner this year for Best Picture. The film made history by becoming the first foreign language film to win Best Picture. Although, last year, “Roma,” was closer to winning the prize than many of its predecessors.
Watching the Oscars this year, as the night wore on, it become more and more likely that “Parasite” might win. It won for Best International Film, which was no surprise, but it also raked in Best Original Screenplay, and then Bong Joon Ho won for Best Director. The film was also nominated for Best Film Editing and Best Production Design.
Overall, I think the film would be best suited for people who enjoy artsy, more stylistic movies, as well as for those who love a good thriller. The movie is intense and leaves you thinking afterwards.
Do I think it was the best movie of the year? It wouldn’t have been my choice.