Parasite ★★★★★

First and foremost, this is contemporary masterpiece that depicts class struggle as brilliantly as a much-beloved Charles Dickens or Victor Hugo novel would, but by updating it to a 2019 social landscape and setting it in South Korea he in turns created a refreshingly magnificent beast of a film; The perfectly titled Parasite—2019's greatest movie of the year so far—is such a fiendishly bold high-wire act of filmmaking, juggling so many characters, styles, genres and tones so effortlessly that I was just consistently in awe of the craft as Joon-ho Bong never sets a foot wrong on his tightly wound rope of a film.

Not since Memories of Murder—which I consider to be one of the greatest films ever made—has Bong come this close to putting my paralyzing state of utter rapturous cinematic satisfaction. The South Korean maestro is back on top form in the grandest of fashions. He's always been a socially conscious filmmaker, and with Parasite he swings big, and hits home as he sinks his tendrils under your skin. This movie is pure bliss to watch. Heavenly in every sense of the word due to the bravura filmmaking.

The concept of Parasite is tremendously original, yet it feels simple and close to life, and as the story progresses, unexpected twists and imagination are around every corner. The entire film is well chiseled in every aspect. The use of color and the overall cinematography and editing of the film is top class. Pairing Bong with the strong cast—including Bong regular, Song Kang-ho, who is one of world cinema's greatest actors—also makes the film a no-doubt masterpiece. At the end of the day, the colorful group of characters are what will be remembered the most, each and every one of them is worth savoring and are beautifully crafted. This is one of the best sets of characters I've seen in a film in a long time.

Parasite is a craft masterclass in which the power of the story lies in the way comedy and drama rub off on each other in the proper way to ignite elements of unbearable thriller that turns into pure horror when despair and hatred meet each other. Bong uses very creative black comedy to improve stories of inequality, economic imbalance, inherent corruption and power abuse that reflect South Korean society's view. The political satire and themes on class struggle are fascinating, they're intrinsically baked into the narrative and backstory of the characters without ever being in your face or obnoxiously telling you what to think. The subtext is impressively underplayed, with the second hour leaving no stone unturned.

Even if you were to purely watch this without wanting to think about social satire, it's still an unbelievable film. It takes you on a mysterious thrill ride with some of the most interesting and unique characters put to screen this decade, the story goes to places you would never dream it would, and the soundtrack will be stuck in your head for days after you see it. Parasite is the kind of film that would reward multiple viewings that will reveal even greater context about each of the meticulously-created characters. It's a mile a minute masterpiece from one of the most exceptional auteur directors working today and was more than worthy of taking the Palme d'Or

Added to: [2019] – What I’ve Seen – [Ranked]

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