Saturday, December 21, 2019


A family of con artists living together a cramped semi-basement apartment set their sights on a wealthy and gullible family in writer/director Bong Joon Ho's Parasite. Ki-woo (Woo-sik Choi) is the first through the door as a tutor for the teenage daughter Da-hye (Ji-so Jung). Next comes his sister Ki-jeong (So-dam Park), as an art teacher and art therapist for the couple's son (Hyun-jun Jung). Together the pair are able to replace the family's driver with their father Ki-taek (Kang-ho Song) and the housekeeper (Jeong-eun Lee) with their mother (Hye-jin Jang) all while hiding the familial relationship behind the Parks' (Sun-kyun Lee and Yeo-jeong Jo) new employees.

The insidious nature of the clan and their slow takeover of the household is fascinating to watch. What's interesting, despite their lies and deceptions, each proves fairly good at their jobs. I won't get into the film's dark turn or reveal what happens in the film's second-half other than to say the house of cards is threatened by a discovery deep in the heart of the Parks' home in the dead of night leading to a climactic sequence of events playing out in the middle of a family celebration.

The socially-driven suspense tackles class warfare and class struggle in straightforward way, more successfully than Bong Joon Ho's more literal sci-fi film Snowpiercer. The film is soaked in the themes, and not unlike the scent wafting scent from Ki-taek, which is commented on by the Park family, it's impossible to ignore when recognized but isn't overpowering or overt enough to force events off-track too quickly. A slow-burning tale of deceit simmering resentment, Parasite may wait a beat or two too long before shifting its focus into a thriller but given how well Bong Joon Ho juggles his characters while setting up what is to come it's hard to hold that against the film.

No comments: