Daily #58: Parasite: A Review

As I stated yesterday, I’m going to start doing some more ‘constructive’ content, based on things I’ve seen recently or in the past. Today, I watched the 2019 film Parasite, directed by Bong Joon-ho. I’ll be including non-spoilers above the line, and spoilers below it.

Parasite is a Korean movie, and centres around a poor family that are all unemployed. Through luck, and intelligence, they weasel and bluff their way into getting jobs at the same rich family’s house (such as a tutor and a chauffeur). The film exemplifies the divide between the rich and poor, and how they each view the same event. For example, a rain storm occurs and the rich family say that it’s beautiful as they watch it through their large window. However, the poor family’s half-basement flat is flooded.

The cinematography in this film is something which is being continually praised, and for good reason. Although I’ve only watched it once at this point, I still noticed the subtle nuances of the framing, panning and use of light which put across the themes and emotions the director was going for. As a mystery/drama, atmosphere is key, and the movie never fails to immerse the audience in it. The acting is top-notch, and you don’t feel like you’re being babied while you watch it (which is perhaps due to it being in Korean, rather than English).

As well as this, this film is funny. I’m not someone who finds the standard, American breed of comedy funny, and this was not that. The comedy was well-timed, sarcastic, and satirical, and as a comedy snob I found myself laughing aloud at times. It stays entertaining the whole way through, and doesn’t suffer from ‘suspense fatigue’ as I like to call it, as tense moments are complemented by comedic moments. I’ll put some pictures of this film below, and after that will be the spoiler part of the review.

Overall, I would 100% recommend this movie. As a certified wimp, there were a couple of very short moments which I had to turn away from, but it’s riveting so even that was hard. I don’t watch many films, but I can tell this one is a particularly good one. And I’m not the only one – check out any other review of this film if you want a second opinion!


Spoilers ahead! Don’t read on if you think you’re going to watch this movie.

I was impressed by this movie’s 90-degree pivot into a darker tale. While it starts out quite light-hearted and mischievous, the comedy begins to tone down as the movie gets more serious. I loved how the family were introduced to the previous housekeeper’s husband, and that the tension was there throughout the pre-climax scene while they’re all brawling. Although it was the classic “people who you’re hiding from come home early from their holiday”, it felt original because of the unique stakes involved.

What I liked about the big climax was, although it got ‘stabby’ as Korean movies are wont to do, all of the actions were believable. It’s understandable from the events of the film why the housekeeper’s husband lost it, and the father attacking the head of the rich household did not seem like a random act. All of the events carefully tied into each other, which made it more terrifying as they seemed ‘realistic’.

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