Parasite ★★★★½

Second viewing raises a half a star. This is a masterpiece.

I've seen a couple reviews engaging with this as essential anti-capitalist viewing, but after a second viewing, I really don't think it's anywhere near that simple, and I love it even more for its refusal to pander.

's capitalism isn't indicted as much as it is undressed, revealed not as an enlightened creation but as an unavoidably base reflection of human nature. Merit and initiative and enterprise, capitalist fetishes, get undressed to reveal what's really pulling the levers underneath: imitation, inheritance, role-playing, tribalism.

So maybe that is partly indictment... But only as much as the film also indicts the way humans demonstrably inhabit such a system. This balance is what makes Parasite feel so honest, and, like I noted in my first review, it is also what allows such a prevalence of compassion to extend to all characters, keeping this from diving into essayistic, straw-man territory (far, far, faarrr from the simple "kill the rich" interpretations I see both proponents and critics blatantly misreading into the film).

Lastly, is it safe to say that, especially after awards season, the cinematography (and editing) is now actually underrated?? Not a lot of "money shots" here, but the camera is constantly doing little maneuvers and movements (and lots of playing with focus) to help construct, protect, and propel the intricate mixture of tone. This would probably be my vote for best camera work of 2019.

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