Parasite ★★★★★

Parasite does everything I want a good narrative to do. It surprises. It subverts expectations. The plot is driven by the choices of well-defined characters. Once you're on board, this story never slows down long enough to let you think you've figured it out, just keeps forging ahead through shift after shift, each one completely unpredictable despite the fact that, in retrospect, everything that happens is expertly foreshadowed.

The one thing that I'm still struggling to wrap my head around, though, is what exactly the film's theme is. It would seem to be saying something about class divide, but what? The title is interesting in this regard, since it is Parasite and not Parasites, despite the fact that most of the characters, rich and poor alike, could be considered parasites in some sense. Eventually I was forced to throw up my hands and concede that maybe no message is intended, or perhaps that its message is only comprehensible to those who are deeply familiar with social issues of Korea. None of this detracted from my enjoyment of the film. It just puzzled me.

Regardless, it's a fascinating, well-constructed, and thoroughly engaging piece of filmmaking. I haven't seen all of Bong Joon-Ho's filmography (other than this, just Snowpiercer and Mother), but his has quickly become a name that I trust to deliver something weird, unexpected, and very solid.