Parasite (2019)

The Kim family is down on their luck living in poverty. It is not until they start to con the Park family to be hired on as servants. The plan is working until something is threatening to expose them.

Director: Bong Joon Ho

Cast: Kang-ho Song, Sun-kyun Lee, Yeo-jeong Jo, Woo-sik Choi, So-dam Park, Jeong-eun Lee

MPAA Rating: R for language, some violence and sexual content

Fun Fact: First international feature to win the Best Picture Oscar.

Every year I try to check out the Best Picture winner as I am always interested in seeing if the hype is worth it. 2019’s Parasite was getting quite the praise as the reviews that were coming in were all positive to say the least. It took many awards and many of my friends and peers told me I had to see this movie as soon as I could. Well I was tempted to rent it on demand, but when it was announced that the film would be coming to HULU, I decided to patiently wait for to hit the streaming service.

I do not know what it was in 2019, but that year is going down as one of the best year’s in movie history. I had seen so many great films that I have faith in quality film making again. Parasite is no exception as it deserved every award that it won, including Best Picture. Knives Out might have been my favorite, but Parasite might have beaten it out now. After I was finished watching it, I was in awe of what I had seen.

Director Bong Joon Ho was also a co-writer on the script. The story has quite a bit of social commentary that is shown, not talked about. For example, there is a scene that features rain. One group of people see the rain as beautiful as they look up at it in awe. The other group of people view the rain as a disaster that causes problems. The important thing about this is seeing it through the characters actions, not through their words. Now if the characters just talked about it, we would get a long drawn out boring scene. By showing it, we get effective film making that gets us invested in what is going on. Bong Joon Ho’s direction really shines, as the film relies on the showing and not the telling aspect of the story. The film starts off as more lighthearted and comedic as the Kim family tries to get on with the Park family. Just some of their actions and words have comedic value to it. It was not until a bit later in the film where a major twist happens out of left field that works. I was hooked even further with the film. Going from the comedic aspect of the first half to the twist was effective because I was not expecting it.

The thing that I noticed was with all the award wins, none to the performers were nominated for anything. Usually with the Best Picture, someone is nominated for an award and might have a win under their belt. Even though no one was nominated for their performance, the performances are well done. The whole Kim family felt like a real family. The chemistry between the performers made it that way. I was invested in them from the very beginning in what they were trying to do. Well written characters and performers that take that material and run with it go a long way as Bong Joon Ho works well with his actors. He gets the performances that he needs to drive the film to the next level.

Technical wise, the film is just as good as with the rest of it. It is beautifully shot, and the camera angles are clean and focused. The lighting is right to make to make the scenes bigger than they really are. The music fits well with the scenes as it elevates the scenes to where they need to be in that moment.

Overall, if you have not seen Parasite yet, do it now. Rent it on demand or HULU, either way this film needs to be seen by the masses. I wished that I had seen it sooner because this film got me hooked in all the right ways. Bong Joon Ho’s direction completely blew me away and he’s right, more people need to see films that are not coming out of Hollywood. The sad thing is that this is the first film of his that I have seen and that needs to be changed. The writing and performances also carry the film to its desired message. We get a dark comedy that has a twist that I was not expecting in a film like this and it all paid off. Throw in some beautiful camera shots and you get one of if not the best film of 2019.

Verdict: Hit

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