Parasite ★★★

Spent the entire film waiting for the parasites to start bursting out of people and when the credits started rolling I was like "Oh." Very metaphorical.

The Host is littered with moments that make it exceptional to me, and they're not really major twists, nor even especially tense, but more just little excesses that can only manifest once everything else: concept, plotting, acting, etc. is in proper arrangement.

Parasite, unlike The Host, is structurally perfect, always looks gorgeous, is consistently acted, is almost entirely free of parasites, and everything else one would say about his or her middle school crush; but also like a middle school crush it never really feels like it loves you back. It's mechanical and mostly on the surface.

There wasn't a single moment in The Host, Memories of Murder, or even Snowpiercer where I felt remotely divested, even if they're all a bit manipulative, as they're by measures about saving children. The only thing that feels like an emotional through-line or has more at play than self-preservation in Parasite is the romantic subplot between Hyun Seung-min and Choi Woo-shik, who are both heartbreakingly pretty and deserved more screen-time together.

Parasite is a total masterpiece from any other director, but I never noticed those little moments of surplus love that characterize my favorites from this guy. It doesn't have anything so delightful as an insert of a man getting attacked by a dog during a kaiju rampage at a riverside picnic, or a family being photographed while wailing at a wake and the father pulling up the daughter's sweatpants so her butt-crack doesn't end up on a tabloid, or an ineffectual civil servant playing off slipping on his hazmat suit while trying to address a crowd of panicked citizens. Maybe I'm shallow, or just a complete sucker for sight-gags, but moments like these felt like gifts, needless acts of genuine affection, which are to me better than the needful ones that compose Parasite, which even if it's a rare second qualitative peak from an auteur, is absolutely hyperboreal by comparison.

TL;DR: It's really good go see it and as always thanks for joining me in the whining corner.

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