albertgfx’s review published on Letterboxd:
Bong Joon-ho scored big with what appears to be an unconventional crime film, quite possibly following the path paved by the success of Japanese auteur, Hirokazu Koreeda at the very same Palais a year before.
Koreeda who with 'Shoplifters' took home the big prize at Cannes with similar unconventional approach, rightfully blended in a layered story and complex familial characters that not only gives viewers a rich viewing experience but also a closer look to both social and economic struggles in modern day Japan.
Bong Joon-ho took a similar route down the line with Parasite which has some of brilliant performances, especially that of Bong's frequent collaborator, Song Kang-ho.
Just like Koreeda's masterpiece, Parasite has a story that revolves around a family that struggles to make ends meet, which gives them some sort of moral license to execute their cunning plan.
We have a lot of problems.
We need to take care of ourselves first.
The play of morality has always been the heart of these type of films, as main characters of both films really looked like they are capable of doing whatever necessary to make things work for them.
A lot of modern crime films relies on wall-to-wall twists and one too many dramatic detours, but in this story of deceit in a world when class discrimination is jarring, Bong's primary intention is not to deceive and make his viewers gasping every 5 seconds, but to conceal his carefully constructed characters' ulterior motives.
This is a work of a director who clearly at the peak of his power. The tonal shift between family drama, comedy, suspense thriller, and horror goes as smooth as anyone can hope for. At one point, it was a comical impersonation of Kim Jong-un's general, and just give it a couple of minutes as the tone shifts yet again to the polar opposite. It's as if Parasite was a piece of different musical pieces banded together to form an even greater concerto.
Speaking of the music, Parasite does utilise Jung Jae-il's score to aid Bong's storytelling. The composer provides some sense of urgency in a scene that requires it, and he produced a whimsical score when these characters are toying around in the spacious mansion where most of the events in the film unfolded. To some degree, it's reminiscent of Vivaldi's Four Seasons.
The only drawback from Parasite is how Bong seemingly try to draw a solid closure towards the final minutes of the film, which although contemplates uncertainty, I found it a little too much of a give away on what was actually happening.
Sometime a little ambiguity goes a long way.