The Oscar nominations certainly surprised by nominating Bong Joon Ho‘s Parasite in major categories. This can be nothing but good for the exposure it will receive, far more so than the Best Foreign Language nomination, which it now cannot lose, unless the whole system is screwy. If only 1% of people who see the noms then give Parasite a chance then it is a victory for everyone, as Parasite is a stone cold classic, a mixture of so many little influences that ironically it comes across as totally original. There‘s some Hitchcock, some De Palma, a little Argento and more than a sprinkle of Takashi Miike in this great look at how those at the bottom of the food chain can find their way up without those who don‘t appreciate the life they crave even noticing them, aside from being people to aid them, not servants perhaps, but far from equal.
I don‘t want to talk too much about the plot for fear of spoiling one of its many detours and surprises, but it is safe to say we follow a hard up family, in their tiny basement flat (a nod to Fight Club?) as the jobless and without hope husband tries to keep his brood together with the bare minimum available to them. As the son of the family uses white lies, this is an entire movie of white lies after all, to become a tutor to the Parks family‘s daughter. Soon, thanks to the family‘s acceptance, the money starts to come in, but as the lies get bigger and the wallets get fatter, the entire family is involved.
Parasite very cleverly shades all of the characters, so that different viewers will get different things from it. You might look on in horror as the rich are fooled in an increasingly ridiculous number of ways, or you might take the Robin Hood perspective and see these crimes (are they even crimes?) as victimless. Parasite succeeds by throwing up these questions constantly, it never tries to sledgehammer a certain view into its narrative, but importantly, it will make you think, which in a year with the excellent duo of Joker and Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood also looking for gold, can only be a good thing for both viewers and the legacy of modern cinema.
I‘m zipping my mouth here, let yourself bathe in the beauty/metaphors/madness of Parasite and just take the journey that Bong Joon Ho offers and you will fall into and love, have your breath taken and be constantly surprised by one of the best films of recent times. Go. See.
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