Parasite ★★★★

Everything that comes out of every character's mouth in Parasite might be redolent of fresh bullshit, but I'll tell you this: that Jjapaguri dish, with the dehydrated ramen noodle bricks and the Wagyu beef stirred into it? That shits legit. My SO whipped up a couple of bowls of it tonight, and it was amazing. As we speak, I can feel every corpuscle and leukocyte squirting around in my body, thanks to the 9,286 milligrams of sodium I just rammed into my face. And thank God for it, because that constant firehose pressure is guaranteed to keep that beef fat cholesterol from getting a grip on any of the switchbacks in my arteries. Hell, provided I keep my blood mixture lean with all of this alcohol, I am going to live forever.

That's bullshit, of course, but it's fitting, because there isn't a creature in this movie more articulate than the stinkbugs infesting the Kim's basement apartment who isn't completely full of crap. The Kims are the obvious ones, lying with every word get their hooks into the Parks so they can work in the house and leech off of them, just like Moon-gwang and her husband before them. But the Parks are full of it too, acting like they belong in this house that architect Namgoong built for himself... and even he wasn't sure he really deserved it, because he built himself a hidden panic room to hide out in, in case it all went wrong and the money people showed up to take it all away.

What makes Parasite so good is the constant juxtaposition of feeling deserving and feeling the impostor. The Parks seem deserving of that house and that car because that's where we see them from the beginning, but you can tell by the way Mr. Park gets all twitchy in the shorts over the idea of cheap panties that he's thrilled by something that he has left behind. Jessica seems right at home in the Park's bathtub, but she seems equally cool sitting on a toilet lid, smoking a cigarette while she keeps more raw sewage from erupting into their apartment. If Jessica doesn't have an OnlyFans page, she is leaving money on the table, but I'm getting distracted here,

The second anyone reaches a social level, by legitimate means or not, they immediately decide that they belong there, be it by dint of their hard work, or their skillful treachery, or even their blind, animal luck, and woe be unto whichever of God's creatures decides it's their right or responsibility to take them out of it... but it's not like it matters, because no one is where they deserve to be, they're just where they wind up. And even when it's all said and done, and the one person who was at the beginning of this weirdly Shakespearean epic modern tragedy is in a position to know better, the very world of Parasite forces him right back into the same fantasy that striving and pleading can get you what you think you deserve, instead of what you just luck into.

Jesus, I wrote the word "Shakespearean" about a flick made by the dude who made The Host, but there it is. Parasite is big, and it's too damn long, and it has a bunch of laughs, and it crosses a variety of social strata, and everyone's lying to everyone else who'll listen to them, and damn near everyone dies at the end. If that's not a movie deserving of an adjective named after a filthy pulp writer who traded in stories of matricide, patricide, regicide, going full Karen at typhoons, throwing handys to literal assheads, arranged teen marriages, and teenage suicide (don't do it!), I don't know what is. Because, after all, Shakespeare was a bottom-feeding hack who, if alive today, would be debuting his "art" on Vinegar Syndrome DVDs that get shipped to you in a plain brown wrapper, so as not to alarm your neighbors, but that's not the point.

The point is that Parasite is a really good movie with a lot going on, and it holds up to multiple viewings. It might make the jump from the Plex server to the actual library... but I think I'll hold out until Criterion drops a 4K Blu. Or until this sodium makes my heart seize up like a bad bearing.

Seriously, should blood hiss like an angry cat when it goes through the capillaries closest to the light? Asking for a friend.

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