Review: Parasite (2019)

Director: Bong Joon Ho
Screenwriters: Bong Joon Ho, Han Jin-Won
Starring: Song Kang Ho, Lee Sun Kyun, Choi Woo-Sik, Park So Dam, Yeo-Jeong Jo
Genres: Foreign/International Film, Drama, Comedy
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, some violence, and sexual content
Release Dates: 10/11/19 (Limited Theatrical); 2/14/20 (Disc/Streaming)
Where to Watch: Hulu
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 99%

It is hard to describe the film Parasite to those who have not seen it, and I am glad that people have kept the twists secretive. The less you know about it, the better. Boon Joon-Ho, who directed the fascinating dystopian English-language film Snowpiercer, has crafted a film about two vastly different Korean families whose lives collide in unexpected ways.

Parasite is, at times, hilarious without being too silly, thrilling without being unbelievable, and heartbreaking without being corny. Writer-director Boon Jong Ho has called it a “tragicomedy,” which seems about right; what starts as a satire about a lower class unemployed Korean family infiltrating an upper class family turns into something else entirely, and that’s what make the film so engaging and brilliantly inventive. You never know what is going to happen, or when the tone will change drastically within minutes.

The entire cast is excellent, with a standout performance by Song Kang-Ho as the well-meaning, caring father of the lower class family. Even when it veers away from the satirical to a more serious tone, Parasite never loses its focus on the enormous gaps in lifestyles and personalities of those in the lower and upper classes – no matter where you live.


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