Parasite ★★★★½

2019 ranked
2010s ranked

The uncontrollable praise for this film has equally driven me insane and raised my prejudices but also made me want to be a part of it. Now the day has come and whether it was my desire or not I will join to celebrate this film. And I'm aware this film doesn't need another mediocre rambling so proceed only if you're bored.

The way Bong Joon Ho controls this whole narrative is absolutely fantastic and easily the most impressive part in a large collection of impressive things. He takes a subject that could and has been be done in the most boring way. Instead he mixes comedy, thriller, drama and horror like its nothing. Commentary on social classes has been on the front page these past years and from the start of cinema but Parasite feels different. Bong Joon Ho plays with the genre and subject. He fully understands the restrictions and possibilities that come with such themes and goes forth to bend them in many ways but never loses control. It’s a tight package welded from smaller scraps that seamlessly come together to form a beautifully balanced piece of art. Almost everything aligns perfectly but it’s impossible to grasp everything after the first watch which is what usually is required for a movie to be brilliant.

At times when I felt the message was delivered generically or bluntly Bong showed minutes later how he was aware of that and how it all means something more. Only thing that made me disappointed was the inclusion of the last frame but now I’m thinking back as to what the inclusion really means. If everything has been this well done can that last frame really be a disappointing case of underestimating your audience?

But that’s also what was lovely about Parasite - it’s full of twists and uncertainty. The basis of is quite straightforward but the way the narrative moves from sometimes seemingly ridiculous plot points to seriousness to comedy is done masterfully. I doubt there are tons of films that achieve that since every little aspect should appear perfect. It doesn’t have to be perfect (and I think this film is quite far despite my praise) but it’s like Bong created a similar facade to the Kim family. Every small criticism I have, like how the premise seems totally implausible, how few characters appear dull on the outside and how bluntly something is presented is pounded back to its place by the bigger picture.

Parasite floats above those criticisms thanks to its insanely enjoyable and masterfully crafted structure that draws from multiple genres. It flows like a sturdy raft on a river leaving you admiring the scenery and then surprising you with a waterfall around the bend. It’s a storm flooding your head with the intelligent presentation of its characters and contrasts that constantly turn on their heads with both hard hitting and almost unnoticeable moments. And that is not only the brilliance of Bong Joon Ho but the whole production and cast to which I feel no obligation of going in-depth to. Just have to say how well the set design, blocking and framing comes together through the editing.

As much as I praise Parasite and claim it to be above all criticism that’s not entirely true. It’s sophisticated but not an untouchable powerhouse that some claim it to be. Those smaller moments still rub the me wrong way and the reason I don’t want to give it a perfect rating is because although Parasite made me want to discover all of its secrets, I wasn’t as attached to it than I would have liked. It’s surprising, powerful and hilarious but not something I would love to watch over and over again despite being one of the most brilliantly directed films I’ve seen.

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