Parasite ★★★½

An utterly riveting buildup to a third act that intentionally drops the rules (and thereby the momentum) of its house of cards thriller premise. It’s defensible but ultimately disappointing given the how amazingly Bong builds tension and complicates characters’ best laid plans. He’s less skilled at the absurdist surrealism with which he chooses to end his film than the careful, subtle Hitchcockian windup that precedes it. Most will defend his ending as a visual parable, but the fact is that that parable is there throughout the first two acts of the film, and there’s not enough reason to bring the film’s background of haunting themes into the waking consciousness of a character to the point where it drives his actions apart from his own interest and self-preservation. The conclusion after the denouement is ultimately poignant and satisfying, but it left me thinking Bong might have taken a different route than the nuclear explosion that got us there. 
But the first 1.5 hours is Bong at his absolute best and Bong at his best is unmissable.

Alex liked this review