This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Jose Saenz’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
For those who don’t know, I freaking love Korean Cinema so much I envy it. There’s too much examples of carefully balanced tones, wildly bizarre stories and moments, and a wildly inspired observation on the world around us. It’s one of those movement of cinema that I truly aspire to, the type of weird, totally out-of-this-world appeal integrated in otherwise serious dramas that would spell a disaster if fallen into the wrong hands.
Those need not to worry with Bong Joon Ho, along with the exceptionally insane yet masterfully orchestrated PARASITE. Here is a movie made by a man well-versed into his comfort zone - after spending a decade making brilliant English message movies of SNOWPIERCER and OKJA - yet still stands as one of his best works. Once again taking aims at capitalism and societal woes, it plays with much simpler genre conventions until it gradually evolves into its own thing.
But okay, here’s a premise. It centers around a poor Korean family who’s son gets a golden opportunity by his cousin to tutor the daughter of a bourgeois family. After numerous forgery violations, he gets the job and racks in a whole bunch of cash. As the film goes on, he hatched a plan to bring in all of the family for a job there as well, eventually leeching off from the clueless upper class too bothered with other things to catch up to them.
And that’s all I’m gonna say. Without spoiling anything further, let’s just say it takes so much left turns, shocking reveals, and boldly bizarre choices that it ultimately becomes special. One definitely will get a kick on how it subverts all expectations from this worn-out premise alone, but all of the avenues it takes ultimately serves as an inspired and bold analysis on class itself. Lust for money vs lust for simplicity. Cluelessness vs cunning, primal vs state-of-the-art.
I truly could not name a more airtight yet consistently enjoyable movie this year. If you’re a fan of Bong or Korean Cinema, it definitely deserves your attention. It’s currently playing at Art Theatres and Film Festivals now before it reaches the states in mid October. I’d say check it out as soon as you can; you may not see anything like it this year.