BlackNerdMagic’s review published on Letterboxd:
"If you make a plan, life never works out that way"
Bong Joon-Ho has crafted a cinematic experience that takes you through so many twists, turns, and tonal shifts that will have you on pins and needles wondering what will punch you in the gut next. The ride from beginning to end ebbs and flows in mood but the common consensus is that everything about the production reeks of brilliance. A unemployed family find themselves in a rare position to have a reprieve from the mundane poverty; engaging in a bit of mischievous trickery and forgery to have a taste of a life that felt always out of reach. Just when things start to come together, a big surprise changes everything for all parties involved resulting in a last act that had me leaving the floor with my jaw dropped and my heart in stitches.
Joon Ho's screenplay should be the immediate front runner for Best Original Screenplay; a original story that operates seamless from comedy, drama, thriller, social commentary, and grief. Hard hitting relevance finds life in the aspect of the South Korean economy and the damaging effects of drastic class divide; we see hints of this in the cinematography where the protagonist's home feels very limited and claustrophobic contrast with the rich family they end up working for having so much space and beautiful views of the sunset and landscape. Why do we have a society in where people have to live in sewage and squalor hoping to get by each day while there are others who have more freedom living in beautiful homes and neighborhoods free of a bedraggled environment? Also, we see how the poor engage in a "crabs in the barrel" mentality in order for one to pull themselves out of these terrible circumstances knowing that not all of them will make it to these heights. Early scenes start with off a good amount of comedy and dark humor that feel right in place with what we are comfortable to see, then the tones drastically reach despair and shocking you with how bold it goes. Pacing is the rockstar of this film; Boon Joon Ho is in full control toying with our expectations and not afraid to shock us all for the benefit of fantastic storytelling.
Next level tracking shots find their way in heightening the tension in some masterful scenes; editing is kept at a minimum only employed when truly needed. Good close ups, overhead shots, and a nice approach to whip pans. There is not anything in this film direction wise that feels forced or badly conceived; it all feels perfect. This was also a very engaging watch among a theater audience; everybody was gasping and reacting animately at every new twist that kept popping up. We are all in the pressure cooker wondering how this would resolve itself. You are missing out if you don't get to experience these with a large group of people. Also, do not see any trailers; let yourself be un the unknown when it comes to seeing this for the first time, you will thank me later.
Parasite is unforgettable, a true case study of the high potential and entertainment that cinema can catch in a bottle. This film needs and deserves awards and I will be campaigning hard on its behalf. One of the best films of the year and a future classic in the making.