Published on February 24th, 2020 | by voxx0
Parasite, is a hard film to discuss, not because it’s one of those films that is truly horrendous but genuinely its a hard film to talk about because its one those where you cant do your research, or where you can see any trailers because they would most likely spoil the outcome. The hard truth is, you have to go into it completely blind, because its one those films that can surprise you at any turn, essentially there are no words to describe this superb South Korean thriller but simply it’s director: Bong Joon-ho.
This is pure Bong, it’s insane, if you were to put it into one single genre you would a very hard to find trying to find which genre it would slot into, is it a horror? A thriller? A crime-caper? A comedy? Or is it just a drama? It’s all of them, and none of them at the same time. But in a way in that sense that’s the way that Bong creates his cinema, just for him, the man has no one genre he has not one single technique in his directing style. From his first film in 2000 Barking Dogs Never Bite, to Memories of Murder, through his monster invasion flick The Host, Snowpiercer and there’s even no way to describe his last film Netflix’s Okja they are all him. And his seventh film Parasite goes completely batshit crazy in fact we’re not sure if it’s trying to be a meticulous crowd-pleaser or a mindbending thriller or an Art-house caper. The point is where he is trying to go he does it successfully. From the opening reel it’ll have you intrigued and it scratch you out until you are unwillingly bridled to watch it again and again…
And why shouldn’t you? It’s perfect – the plot is watertight, the Kim family are poor and penniless and utterly hopeless, they are getting tired of their stingy underground basement apartment so the eldest son (Woo-shik) seeks out other opportunity besides living in squalor conditions. So he has a plan to work for the wealthy Park family in their stunning mansion, liking what he sees he decides to bring the rest of his family along for the ride, and for a while everything is going fine until the rise of an unfortunate incident. And that’s when everything changes. Intrigued? Well, that’s enough. Because when it comes to Bong it’s not the story that matters its the way his characters are written, the way they delve into making new plans for the well-off Park family. No. What the story is a about, is family. Now we know what you’re going to say, and you can refrain from that because this is the exact opposite, it’s about a family who have nothing, then they go into everything and then they think they’re doing fine until they slip. And that could result in a lot of things going wrong. For the first hour during the different plans you could essentially say that this is another version of The Italian Job minus the cars and Michael Caine or perhaps a mixture between Ocean’s and Rififi and you’d be write it’s all those. And much more, there’s no knowing how many references to old films Bong has put here. But what he does in that first hour is absolutely captivating and the execution of the plans is one-of-a-kind cinema. It’s a film that doesn’t that doesn’t really sound like it works, but it does. And here Bong has created a miracle of a film.
Joyously it couldn’t have come at a better time, amidst all the modern cinema redos, remakes and been-there-done-that sequels this is a real miracle and Bong has a real gem on his hands. Plus naturally in crime caper when people get found out they lose everything, here there’s no evidence of that, maybe (but remember no spoilers) but the Kims they just keep going until they have ruined enough of the Park family’s well being. There’s a moment of a threat of being caught but with eager hands they soon put a stop to that. The fact is Bong does nothing wrong here, Parasite is a perfect, water-tight and captivating thriller that will put your heart on edge, make you scratch your head and finally make wonder if cinema can get any better. No is the answer, and Bong could not have made it a better time as it will keep you going to the end reel and refuse to let go even well after the credits roll. He’s essentially the Korean version of the Coen brothers, and there’s no better compliment than that.
VERDICT: Bong has made a miracle of a film that’s a water-tight crime caper, thriller and drama plus many more genres all in one film. And with an unforgettable story it will keep you watching for years to come. Truly cinema at its best.
By Corey Denford