Parasite ★★½

Formally this is certainly accomplished. It makes great use of its spaces, particularly the elegantly minimalistic home that the poor family scurry around in. The choreography in these sequences is a dizzying flurry of activity, both lithe and blunt (a body is noiselessly kicked at the top of the stairs but lands with a sickening crunch below). But these images are so rigidly contrived to conform to the film’s message that they don’t ever feel revelatory, they feel hollow. 

For a thriller, the film has no instinct for mystery. It only seems like an intelligent film because it assumes its audience is fucking stupid and leaves no plot point or thematic detail unexplained. 

While it’s often entertaining, I couldn’t pin down its tone; it’s far too sentimental to be nihilistic, too rigid to be sympathetic, and too calculated to embrace its ample potential for chaos.

And as a political film, it’s pretty conservative in its aims, using its finely tuned mechanism to make the almost benign point that... rich people are indifferent to the suffering of the poor, that the comfort of wealth is possible because of the exploitation of the working class.

It’s not a bad message, but it’s probably a bad sign when your biting social satire is glowingly received by the bourgeois critic class. Say what you want about Joker, at least its vision of class conflict pissed some people off.

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