george’s review published on Letterboxd:
Bong Joon-ho… WHAT ON EARTH DID YOU PUT ME THROUGH!?
This is the Palme d’Or winning director at his most confident – which seems silly to say when all his films exhibit a stark disinterest for convention in all facets of storytelling. His tonal assurance and command behind the camera are exhilarating to watch unfold; the narrative spirals into capitalistic calamity, elevating its unsubtle themes by making you feel everything humanely possible. And you truly do – my theatre was in an uproar from the hysterical script, while individual moments left me physically shaking and on the verge of tears. That’s Bong for you; his tonal manipulation has never been better, as he cunningly observes the riotous horrors of class division, placing a determined family at the heart of its melancholic absurdity.
No matter how eccentric and erratic his world may be, the characters that inhabit it always stay true to the complexities of human emotion and the messiness of life itself. Song Kan-ho and the entire family are exceptional – they hit every beat that Joon-ho and co-writer Han Jin-won throw at them with flawless nuance. The same applies to every performance; the minor characters breathe life into their surroundings superbly - building a world far too similar to our own, one that is guaranteed to break your heart and keep you thinking long after the film is over.
Sinister, hilarious and deeply poignant, this is Bong Joon-Ho’s crowning masterpiece; a genre-defining culmination of his work thus far. Whether or not it outmatches my adoration for Memories of Murder remains to be seen, but both left me hopelessly paralysed by the end that it doesn’t even matter.
Seek this out when you can and go in as blind as possible – I don't think another 2019 release will put me in a state quite like this.