9/10. Masterfully crafted. Parasite shows Bong Joon-ho is at the top of his game with a thoroughly engaging and obscure dark comedy.
For the uninitiated, don’t be deterred from thinking this is a horror film. Contrary to its presumptuous title and MA+ rating, Parasite is more a family drama with mystery thriller elements thrown in. I’d rather not say anymore because it’s always best to go in not knowing, but if you must satisfy your curiosity, you can read the synopsis here.
Importantly, Parasite is very clever.
As its name suggests, it manages to successfully infiltrate your mind and keep you glued to the screen as you watch the story escalate further and further.
But what makes it clever, is something else, because, on the surface level, the basic premise is enough to make an interesting story. Other filmmakers, or worse, Hollywood executives, could ride the same idea for 90-minutes and I’d wager that it would still be an entertaining film.
But that would be too easy for South-Korean director Bong Joon-ho (Snowpiercer, Okja, Memories of Murder).
Instead, he takes it to another level. By incorporating serious undertones and social commentary, he cleverly elevates Parasite to be something different; something that leaves you feeling strange and perhaps even moved.
Yes, it’s not as subtle as it could be, but that doesn’t stop it from leaving a lasting impression.
However, the most enjoyable part about Parasite is that it’s surprisingly genuinely funny. Being a dark comedy, Bong Joon-ho and co-writer Jin Won Han smartly weave in jokes from situations that normally wouldn’t occur and from places where you know you shouldn’t laugh.
Immoral things happen but it’s actually hilarious.
And that’s what makes Parasite so clever. There are layers upon layers of great storytelling built into the script and I haven’t even got to the great performances, directing and production.
But that’s what makes Parasite the winner of Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
So, if you’ve had enough of mainstream mind-numbing blockbusters and are looking for something more in life than you know what you can watch instead. Parasite proves the art of filmmaking isn’t dead and that modern cinema can still deliver great films.
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