Whenever you see a Bong Joon-ho film, you are kind of expecting the unexpected. This can be a tricky thing because you are waiting for that moment where something will happen. In many ways this is the same problem that M. Night Shyamalan has with his twists. But Bong’s triumph lies in the way he crafts those unexpected moments. You might be able to see Parasite and be able to guess what’s going to happen. This wasn’t the case with me and it ultimately ended up being a very rewarding experience because of that.
I don’t want to say anything about the story as it takes away from what unfolds on screen. But the one thing that really surprised me is the amount of social commentary that Bong is able to pack into the script. It feels like a genre film especially with the way it is shot and edited. But as it goes on, you start to see the strands of the class difference present in the people who populate the screen. There is a moment right at the end of the film where you will realize why the word Parasite was chosen for this film.
There are the trademarks that are a part of Bong’s oeuvre such as the wicked humor, the tonal shifts etc. He along with co-writer Han Jin-won are able to intertwine the lives of the rich and poor in a cohesive manner. We see parallels between the different families and we also see the differences they have. This is what ultimately lets Parasite leave an emotional impact on the viewer. The emotions are right there but they aren’t shoved into prominence.
The films lets us ascertain what is happening, it doesn’t linger on one particular point of contention. A big strength of the film is the cinematography by Hong Kyung-pyo. He is able to bring out so much detail and beauty in the poorer parts of the city. Though it is set in South Korea, this film could be applied anywhere in the world and that is the real beauty of it. Parasite is a story of what is and what can happen in our cities. It is a chilling, affecting story with doses of unexpected humor. The crux of the story can be found in this dialogue: “If I had all this I would be kinder.” I’m not telling you who says it but after you’re done with the movie, you’ll realize how much that resonates with the film. Parasite is another fantastic entry into the filmography of a modern auteur and I can’t wait to see what Bong comes up with next.
Until next time, bye.