Austin Burke’s review published on Letterboxd:
2019 list - Click HERE
Video review - Patreon exclusive until🔜
Huge S/O to a friend (on Patreon) for hooking me up with a screener for this film. I wanted to see it so bad when I started to see the buzz but knew there was nothing I could do; thankfully, he swooped into my DM’s and gave me the chance to witness something that I haven’t stopped thinking about since the second it ended. There is so much to soak in with this film and, still, much more to unpack. Joon Ho Bong is a obviously a talented director but he has never been one to live up to the hype (for me) until now.
Parasite is clearly his best work and it’s an experience that tackles almost every element of what makes a movie great. Since it has yet to be released and it’s such a surprising experience; I don’t want to get into what works so well about the plot. Upon rewatch (after release) I will return with a full spoiler review because it’s a movie that requires this. I will say that while the first few scenes were well-crafted; I was wondering what all of the hype was about. It’s a film that looks at division of class and begins with a poor family who is just trying to do whatever they can to “make it.”
We’re already conflicted as an audience because we feel sorrow; yet we know what they are doing here is wrong (or at least how they are going about it). Once they begin to infiltrate this rich family’s home, the madness begins. It goes from interesting, to engaging, to intriguing, to pure “edge of your seat” thrilling. As soon as, what I will refer to as, “the event” happened; I sat back and found an entirely new appreciation for what this movie was doing. It somehow juggles all of these elements that could have easily compromised the story.
I would normally critique a film like this and say “well it’s just too much;” but I always preach the fact that it is all about the execution. If all of these plot points are executed properly, a movie can easily get away with them. It’s the perfect balance of almost everything with Parasite. Tone, pacing, character depth, narrative structure, intensity, and so many more elements are all handled to perfection. The family dynamic is interesting enough but when they begin to mix with this upper class family; the story begins to reveal itself.
I normally don’t praise films for trying to shoehorn in social commentary but it’s the opposite case here. The social commentary almost eclipses the story and it sends a powerful message to everyone. The way that it handles the politics of class, but manages to inject this sense of dark humor, is almost the perfect balance. Just when you think you realize what you’re in for, the film shifts and continues to showcase the best of “what cinema should be” until the final frame. The ending had me worried for a second but it was captivating. Overall, Parasite may not end up being my favorite movie of 2019 but it should be in the discussion for the the best movie of 2019. It hasn’t left my brain since.
🔙Ready or Not
🔜Angel Has Fallen