Rating (4 out of 5)
Summary: An engaging and entertaining film. I was hooked from the first moment all the way to the tragic ending. The movie leaves an impression on you. Even today, almost 24 hours later, I am thinking about different facets of the movie. An original script, that was well acted and masterfully executed. This is a must-see for the year. My knock on the movie is I wasn’t sure what the twist was, but the lead up was a bit mechanical.
Plot: A Ki-woo/Kevin (Woo-sik Choi) is a poor young man who starts tutoring a young rich girl in English. He and his family then con their way to retain roles with the wealthy family. Can they maintain the rouse?
Detail: “Parasite” is a dark comedy. Dark comedies are extremely hard to manage because the humor can often be missed when the destructive element is introduced. In this case, the humor and darker moments are separated effectively, creating a healthy balance.
There are a couple of times where I was about to laugh heartily and then realized, how someone was hurt. These scenes are what stuck with me today. The one the hangs in my memory is when Mr. Park (Sun-kyun Lee) comments to his wife Mrs. Park (Yeo-jeong Jo), that their driver and Kim’s father, Ki-taek (Kang-ho Song) produces a certain unique smell. Ki-taek overhears the conversation and you observe how the comments hurt. I snickered and then noticed the embarrassed reaction of Ki-taek and how he was wounded by the comment. A masterful piece of directing.
When the big turn happens and chaos ensues, there is a lot thrown at you. For those familiar with Bong Joo -Ho, you won’t be surprised that tragedy strikes everywhere and everyone. The tragedy brings about an elegant symmetry to the film and when the moved ended I felt complete.
My knock on the film is the manufactured scene when the family overtly celebrates their win. This scene is required to move the plot to the tragedy. Also, the two poor families may have reacted differently when they found themselves in conflict. Again, the scene appeared manufactured to force the plot along.