TIFF Review: Parasite


Written and Directed by Bong Joon-ho

Starring Kang-ho Song, Sun-kyun Lee, and Yeo-jeong Jo

Synopsis: A poor Korean family interweaves their way into an upper-class family’s life by misrepresenting who they really are.

My Thoughts: The first Korean language film by director Bong Joon-ho in a decade is a perfect melding of comedy, suspense, and thrills that was never boring and always kept me on the edge of my seat with my hands clasped over my mouth. We first meet the Kim family in their underground apartment, with the two children Ki-woo (the son) and Ki-jung (the daughter) huddled over their propped-up toilet in order to steal wi-fi. Ki-woo is given the opportunity to tutor Da-hye Park, the daughter of the wealthy Park family who has a luxurious house in the city. Once Ki-woo is in with the Park family, he interweaves the rest of the Kim family into the Park’s lives doing different jobs.

The less that is said about the film the better because Parasite is a film that relies on surprise and the cinematic experience. A twenty-minute sequence that begins with the Kim family rejoicing in a success ends with three of the family members trying to salvage their home from flood and ruin was the highlight of a film that was filled with them. So much happens within that time frame I don’t even want to share because it will ruin so much of what was great about it. Overall the acting was impeccable (lead by Kang-ho Sung as the father), the screenplay was vicious and filled with symbolism and dry humor, and the direction of Bong Joon-ho is indescribable in how amazing it was to watch. 

The Verdict: There is not much more to say about this film other than it is absolutely deserving of all the accolades it has been garnering, including the Palme D’Or at Cannes this year. Parasite could be this year’s Roma in terms of Oscar nominations. I could see at least Best International Feature, Screenplay, Director, and Best Picture. Parasite is 100% deserving of an A+ and is currently my favorite film of 2019 thus far. Parasite has been released in many international markets but will be released in the United States on a limited basis starting on October 11th.

Author: Sean Blanford

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