Ian’s review published on Letterboxd:
So glad I got to see this immediately after a local distributor picked it up for release, months before North America (!!!), but I was also not prepared for how deep Parasite (2019) was gonna fuck me up.
I knew next to nothing about this movie besides Critic Twitter's joyous post-Cannes response, the historic and victorious Palme d'Or win, and Bong Joon-Ho's iconic status. I honestly did not know what to expect, which made watching it a deeply energizing experience.
Going in blind is probably the best thing I did to prepare for the film. Somehow, everything about Parasite felt like an invigorating glass of the freshest drink you can think of AND the slap of a thousand hands at the same time.
As if I haven't stressed it enough, Parasite is a motherfucking miracle and a blessing. So self-assured, humorous, and intelligent, this masterpiece knows what it wants & where to go, leading the audience to places without giving up its secrets and surprises immediately. We been knew, but Bong Joon-Ho ABSOLUTELY DID THE DAMN THING, directing and co-writing a movie that brims with so much life and verve.
Such a well-oiled machine, I absolutely saw and envisioned this as a play, and it works on the level of theatrical masterpieces too! Complete with a maze-like story and structure, as well as a cast of characters who flow in and out naturally into the fold, Parasite's many pieces form to make the best and most complete picture an audience member can experience.
Mad props to the excellent ensemble for making this movie fully realized. Acting like a tried and tested theater troupe, everyone turned in great individual performances while also working as a team. Loved Park So-dam and Cho Yeo-jeong, two formidable Supporting Actress contenders! I keep repeating the SAG thing, but I do hope the Screen Actors Guild will consider nominating (and crowning) this fine ensemble.
This one's both witty and deliciously biting but it also manages to be so complex and emotionally rich that untangling the plot never became stale. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time! I laughed, I smiled, I teared up, I got angry and frustrated, I shook my head so many times, I ruminated hard - Parasite inspired so many emotions and thoughts to come out. To me, that's a true measure of a really great and complete movie. Truly, a clear cut example of a film that has it all.
P.S. I can't wait for Bong Joon-Ho and company to fuck shit up this awards season. We shouldn't think about awards all the time, but Parasite deserves every accolade it can get. Just the thought of how disruptive and massive this movie's gonna be is already getting my hyped. I'm a Parasite stan account now.