“They’re nice because they’re rich.”
An impoverished and all unemployed family begins taking a peculiar interest in the wealthy Park family until they begin to uncover some very interesting things lurking in the Park’s mansion.
To say more about the plot would simply ruin the countless surprises contained within the film and I dare not spoil the slightest thing. It is rare that a film now so consistently surprises, but here I was never quite sure where the film was going to take me and for that, I could only be transfixed by the masterful filmmaking unfolding before me. The twists and turns are relentless, but always shocking, leading to a film that never buckles under the weight of its own subversions.
“Parasite” gets under your skin and writhes there uncomfortably, forcing you to glare at the screen even if you do not necessarily want to sometimes.
Director Bong Joon-ho has crafted a stunning examination on class division, wealth and power all while balancing tones of contemporary horror and thrilling familial dynamics. This is the most pitch perfect example of a director utterly commanding his craft in a way that has not been seen as flawlessly as this for literal years.
He knows his script and his actors inside and out so exceptionally well that it seems he is making this film as a man possessed by his own craft. His pure, unbridled talent peeks out at every single frame of the film. His talent as a filmmaker was never questioned, but with “Parasite,” Bong has crafted his very own masterpiece.
The cast is all exceptional and fully commits to the wild ride that Bong has presented them with. They seem gleefully willing to revel in the absolute madness that this film is. Song Kang-ho delivers one of the absolute best performances of the year, but I just already know the Academy is going to unjustly snub him for a Best Actor nomination even though he so rightly deserves it. All the rest of the performances are fantastic and each respective performance plays off one another to an extremely satisfying degree.
Along with the brilliant filmmaking and acting, the film is an absolute marvel on the technical and production side, too. The cinematography is absolutely stunning and there are a number of scenes that are simply awe-inducing, most notably a scene where a pair of eyes pierce the darkness in a wide lens shot that ultimately proves there is much more going on in the Park’s house than originally thought.
It is a relatively simple scene in terms of its construction, but it proves to be one of the more subtly terrifying scenes this entire year.
The production design is also some of the most extraordinary of the year — and not only because the Park house was built as an entirely new set from scratch. The production design only amplifies the creative genius that went into this film, along with also being just insanely gorgeous to look at. Bong’s vision is prominent everywhere in the film, but in the production design is where Bong’s vision comes full circle by quite literally assembling a vision built from the mind of a man who knows exactly what he wants.
“Parasite” is the best film of the year by a very long mile and I do not see anything topping it by the end of the year. It is the rare case of a film that absolutely needs to be seen to be believed.
Featured Image: Courtesy Parasite