• Daniel Rae

Parasite Review

"Parasite", CJ Entertainment, 2019

The film's cemented status as one of the best of the previous decade is certainly earned, beautifully capturing the social anguish that defined the 2010s by providing audiences with a poignant lens into the circling foundation of social politics, highlighting how intricately woven systemic oppression (most notably class system) is whilst all the while delivering on a wonderfully sharp story through technical mastery and concise thematic exploration.

The sturdy groundworks of the screenplay comes from the way in which Bong Joon Ho goes about not only presenting a story, but a whole visceral, tangible world for the characters to exist in. This is achieved through both the attention to detail across the spectrum and also the way in which convention is twisted in order to mould a refreshingly new angle to genre, often adopting a tone of satire in order to highlight the unforgivingly selfish moral bankruptcy that questions the role of the individual's weakness against 'the system' rather than the system itself. From the way in which the writing occasionally steps away from the familiar pacing of one genre and approaches the tropes of another genre in an incredibly fluid way to the pristine consistency of the mis en scene, there is a constant ear to the ground when commenting on the room that desperation opens up to revenge and destruction. Joon Ho not only steers the attention away from the political murkiness of wealth disparity that may take away from the tonal human fragility of Ki-Woo's family dynamic, but steers it in a variety of different unforeseen directions whilst remaining strong to the western-familiarity of the 3 act formula, providing a cutting edge to the diegesis that is just as biting as the 'parasite'-like metaphorical progression. Whilst the experience is orchestrated by choreographed imagery and motifs that opens the room for the audience to gauge the bluntly-human turmoil behind the face social inequality, its the confident sense of smoothness that makes the portrait this film presents interesting, and the way in which it is channeled into how the multi-faceted conflicts and tensions are presented, making the charismatic energy that much more gripping. The focussed yet flexible direction perfectly manifests this charm in such a brilliantly wholesome way, making sure the characters are constantly feeling the weight of their choices as chess-pieces in a cycle of devestation.

In conclusion, 'Parasite' bleeds together its multicultural influences in order to create one of the most powerful tragicomedies I've seen, balancing on a tight-rope between art and reality that crafts a sobering window into the fundamentals of human behaviour that taps into the primal foundations of greed powers the under-examined ideology of achievement and success.


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