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One of the best films of this decade
Jeremy_Urquhart5 July 2019
I am remarkably stingy with my 10/10 ratings. I'll be the first person to acknowledge this. Of the roughly 2600 titles I've rated on here, only 34 have a 10. Parasite is one of them. If this isn't a masterpiece, then I don't know what is.

I'm going to keep it vague on the plot-front, because I didn't know anything about it going in, and was really excited to see it progress and unfold in satisfying, unexpected ways.

What I will say is that this film, more than just about any other I've seen, put me through so many different emotional states during its 132-minute runtime, and did so without ever feeling muddled or tonally inconsistent. Parts of this movie were hilarious. Parts were heartbreaking. Other parts were insanely suspenseful (I'm honestly not sure if I've felt this close to the edge of my seat since the final season of Breaking Bad, way back in 2013).

And it does all this while being perfectly paced, beautifully directed, and amazingly acted from every single member of its cast. All the characters are understandable and sympathetic to some degree; the amount of conflict, drama and tension derived from a narrative with no clear heroes and villains is staggering. You come to care for just about all of them.

I'm stumped to come up with any flaws for this movie. And sure, I've seen many movies that are hard to fault, but it's rare that a movie appeals to me on a gut level and excites me to this degree while also being so close to technically perfect. It's extremely entertaining, thoroughly moving in so many different ways, and as icing on the cake there's a ton of social commentary and some heavy themes to chew on once the movie's over (and this one's not going to leave my head for a while, I can tell).

Catch this one when you can and believe the hype. Joon-Ho Bong has made many great films (and so far no bad one's), but this even manages to stand head and shoulders above all the others.

When it comes time to consider what the best film of the 2010s was, this one will surely be up there.
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You name a genre, this movie covers it
jtindahouse6 October 2019
I can't remember the last time I saw a movie that contained as many genres as 'Parasite'. The movie starts out almost like an 'Ocean's Eleven' heist film and then expands into a comedy, mystery, thriller, drama, romance, crime and even horror film. It really did have everything and it was strikingly good at all of them too.

I love a film that respects its audience. There are so many details in this movie that are crucially important and yet the film trusts its audience to notice them and acknowledge them without ramming them down our throats. There are a lot of layers to this film and I suspect for this reason its rewatch-ability factor will be very high.

The film was incredibly entertaining too. I can't think of a boring scene in this movie and yet on the surface for large parts of the film you would say not a lot is happening, at least in terms of action. Fascinating characters and brilliant dialogue are what create this. I had a great time with 'Parasite' and I think most that give it a chance will too.
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Meritocracy: it's metaphorical
nehpetstephen25 August 2019
In a meritocracy, success and fortune are reserved for those who deserve it--those who develop solid plans according to their talents and abilities and who execute those plans through hard work and determination. Anyone can rise to the top, and for some lucky Cinderella, plucked from the cinders and gussied up in gowns, the meritocracy represents the heights of perfect egalitarian society: "I started with nothing and ended up with everything I ever desired; you, too, can achieve you dreams, if only you try."

The promise of unobstructed sunshine at the top of the mountain becomes justification for bitter competition, backstabbing, deceit, and callousness. You climb the crooked ladder until you make it to the straight one, and then, perhaps, when you at last feel secure, you can afford to be kind and confident and generous. "It's easy to be nice when you're rich," the mother in this film (Jang Hye-jin) at one point observes.

But it's a very long and very crooked ladder, and sometimes the rungs give out beneath your grip, and sometimes they've been dangerously greased by those who climbed before you, and sometimes the ladder itself is simply kicked down--either by those above you or, just as often, by those staring up from the ground below. There are a lot of people trying to climb that one ladder.

But in a meritocracy, you can't blame the ladder or the other people trying to climb it. Nor can you blame the fact that all the good stuff is kept so many stories up instead of down at the ground where everyone can easily reach it. No, you must blame yourself. You should have tread more carefully. You should have climbed more quickly. You should have used a firmer and more precise grip, anticipated disasters, and known just when to leap. If you fail in a meritocracy, it's all your fault. You should have tried harder. Better luck next time.

Kim Ki-woo (Choi Woo-sik), the young man who is the main character of PARASITE, several times refers to "metaphors," and the film itself is, of course, a metaphor. On a surface level, viewers are treated to a very thrilling, engaging, well-paced and well-plotted crime story. At all times, however, bubbling up from beneath the slick surface of this genre film, there are deeply personal, meaningful truths that should resonate with almost any viewer. These insights are rarely foregrounded. They are so subtly interwoven, in fact, that if you're like me, you may be completely surprised when the final shots of the film roll and you realize that you are emotionally devastated by the intimate, humanist story you've just witnessed. Bong Joon-ho's filmmaking is so extraordinary here that he'll make you fully invested in the lives of his characters without you even realizing he's done so.

I want to avoid spoilers here, but suffice it to say that PARASITE is a masterpiece--beautifully lensed, enthrallingly edited, superbly acted, and intimately involving.

South Korea has a population that is one sixth the size of the United States, and that population is stacked into skyscrapers in an area slightly smaller than the state of Kentucky. Higher education is widespread, so parents with means try to make their children stand above the pack by hiring them tutors and signing them up for extracurriculars and afterschool programs. I lived in Korea once, and the children I taught there were sometimes engaged in learning ten to twelve hours a day, six days a week--public school, English-immersion private school, piano class, soccer team, taekwondo, math camp, chess club, and so on. I routinely worked sixty to seventy hours a week on salary, but at bars I would meet young men my age who were expected to work far more than that, who slept at their desks so that they did not need to pry themselves from work for too long. As the father (Song Kang-ho) in the film at one point says, this is a country where fifty young men with college degrees apply for a mere security guard job. One can't afford not to struggle.

The themes of this story are not just localized to Korea, however. They are the story of global capitalism, and the specter of American materialism (and imperialism; note the "Indians") looms heavily over the film. Meritocracy makes cannibals of us all. It's nice to dream, and sometimes the dreamers who plan and struggle well enough can indeed climb out of the basement and into the sunshine, and how nice an ending it is when they do. But the film also makes it clear that sometimes all that planning and dreaming may be, maybe, just whims and fancy. More often, it seems, our pipe dreams are content to leave us with nothing more than the whiff of spewed sewage.
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A true masterpiece.
keezo9uno19 August 2019
This movie is a gosh darn masterpiece. It will make you belly laugh, it will chill you to the bone, and it will make you shed a tear. This movie will stay with you long after the credits are over.

If you plan on watching this movie, AVOID SPOILERS AT ALL COSTS.
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MR_Heraclius4 February 2020
The most original film of 2019 and it is wickedly funny and darkly disturbing all at the same time. The narrative and the actors were excellent. One of the better endings of a movie in quite a while. Class warfare at its best.
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Thought It Might Win Best Foreign Movie
boblipton9 December 2021
When the buddy who got into college tells him he's moving to the US, and he's passing on the 14-year-old he's been tutoring -- just tell 'em you're enrolled in college, even though you aren't -- the son of a family so low class they've sunk through the foundation finds them very nice, very accepting, and very clueless. So he and his layabout family get all the help fired; his sister is hired as an art psychologist to help the sister, the father as the new chauffeur, and the mother as the cook/housekeeper. Yet even though you don't see them, there are vermin living in the foundations, and they come out when the people in charge aren't around.

It's a movie that starts out as a situation comedy and then abruptly changes gears into horror, with a script that handles the theme of the people we don't see because they're not our problem in a way that jostles the boundaries of symbolic and mimetic fiction in a very disturbing fashion. When I saw it in a theater during its New York run, I was impressed. I was convinced it would be nominated for Best Foreign Movie, and might even win!
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Multilayered portrayal of the real Korea
perica-4315116 January 2020
This is a movie about a class struggle in South Korea, like what movie "Us" attempts to do but done properly. It is a stark reminder of what true living standards for most South Koreans look like, and its realism is very painful. Few are aware of the fact that up to the 1980s, South Korea was in fact more impoverished than North Korea, and it was only late that the situation reversed with famines of the 90s etc, but many people still live miserable lives, and situation is very similar to that in China, where a few got gloriously rich but the urban masses still live in bug infested cheap dwellings.

Some crafty members of this underclass manage to con contemptuous rich man into employing them as his servants. For many Asians smell is a way to express utter contempt, and this is often directed against the white people, who, being able to process milk, smell "like butter" and are seen in rac ist light as unclean, but the same rac ist contempt is directed towards the poor. The poor accept these valuations and fight for the crumbles, like roaches in the dark, but in life and death situations, resentment might boil up and the contempt might cost the rich their empty heads.

The movie paints a sad picture of modern East Asian societies, with many subtle points, criticizes their culture and emulation of the America, with a few cruel but precise strokes. The sheer talent of the Korean filmmaker, but also the fact that West likes movies from foreign countries that are self bashing, allowing the worst condescension rooted in colonialism that failed miserably in East Asia to thrive, one more reason to cheer this slightly overrated movie.
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Totally Unique
Hitchcoc7 August 2020
Usually I don't read reviews before seeing a film. This one, however, I did, and happily so. First of all, it was good to know what cinema in Korea is all about. We need to shed our cultural biases, including "how" to make films. This had a very clever plot and an engaging group of characters. The title, I assume, means the principle figures have managed to infest a body and then use it to sustain themselves. I hope to see more from this director in the future.
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An original dark comedy about class struggles
impeyrules-5463412 January 2020
This is a well written and well perfomed original film. With a lot of repetitive cinema these day i felt this was something new. I felt connected and engaged with the character throughout the film. There are several well directed tense moments throughout the film. A popular topic of class struggled well portrayed. Its always nice to see foreign language films having worldwide success.
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Parasite Review: Comedy, drama, suspense, and yes, even horror.
robfollower9 February 2020
A family who doesn't have a lot of money or opportunities in life, starts working for a wealthy family. But will this change the life of the poor family?

DIRECTOR: Bong Joon Ho SCREENWRITERS: Bong Joon Ho, Han Jin Wan CAST: Song Kang Ho, Lee Sun Kyun, Cho Yeo Jeong, Choi Woo Shik, Park So Dam, Lee Jung Eun, Chang Hyae Jin In the movie, we follow the Kim family who doesn't have much money. By chance, the son in the family starts working for the wealthy Park family. He teaches their daughter English. Now the rest of the family sees opportunities to make money, and they have a plan to remove the rest of the staff who work for the wealthy Park family and then take the jobs themselves.

Bong Joon Ho addresses deeper themes, but he always manages to create entertainment and some surprising scenes that bring out the smile. The movie is mostly charming until the Kim family discovers the big secret of the house.

Then the movie starts to get darker, and it explodes into a wonderful finale where we see and understand the message of the movie. The title of the movie turns things on its head. Because what I thought to be quite obvious at the beginning of the movie is turned upside down and I got an aha experience. Parasites are found in all classes of society.

From a technical aspect I think this was a beautifully crafted film from the direction to the cinematography. There are so many beautiful scenes in the movie, and it's pretty well done considering that most of the action takes place inside the big house and the not so big garden.My favorite sequence is when the Kim family has to run home when the rain is pouring down, and you feel like they're on board the Titanic. They must run from the top and down to the engine room. What a wonderful sequence, and it's so beautiful to watch!

The cast was fantastic, and everyone fit the needs of their roles. The characters were well-written with the performances complementing that perfectly. It does a great job of creating a collection of characters that feel like real people, whom despite their eccentricities, maintained a grounded, realistic feel.The musical score complements the scenes nicely and elevates the emotional responses without feeling overbearing.

So, if you like foreign films, thrillers, or movies that can make you think a little check this one out. It's a crisp film from a technical aspect, and with a blend of great writing and acting you can't go wrong. It was a solid film that treats the audience with intelligence. 9/10
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Achieves what Jordan Peele set out to do with Us
DJKwa2 July 2019
As a film about a family imposing on another, and keeping dark secrets hidden beneath the surface, Parasite achieves what Jordan Peele set out to do with Us: tell a multi-layered story in a widely entertaining manner, but without sacrificing the believability of its central narrative.

That's not to say that Us is an ineffective film by any means, but when it comes to crafting weighty social commentaries under the guise of lighter fare, writer-director Bong Joon-ho is in a class of his own.

The film follows a lower-class South Korean family as they slowly integrate themselves in the lives of an upper-class family and their lavish household. As their entanglement is spun out of a web of deceit, the lowly family find themselves skating on thin ice when it comes to keeping up appearances.

It's a twisty satire on social-economic disparities in South Korean society that swings broadly in tone, and sometimes threatens to tip over the edge, but never feels less than meticulously calculated in its tonal shifts.

However, to reveal anything more about the story would be to take away from the overall experience, as each act is marked by a major plot twist or revelation that keeps the film one step ahead of the viewer at all times. Go in blind if you can and expect an unforgettable ride.
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Without spoiling it, Parasite is the amazing film equivalent to "Is it wrong to steel bread to feed a starving family?"
RforFilm14 November 2019
If there's an argument that's been a part of society since the dawn of time is that of class. From the days of cavemen, the Roman Empire, the Enlightment, and even modern times, philosophers, scholars and storytellers have explored the ideology of the wealthy and poor. It's something that people have wanted to fix to create more equality and people that discuss whether things should be equal at all. It's hard to give my opinion because we have so many viewpoints that's its challenging to paint who exactly is in the wrong. There are good wealthy people and bad poor people and vice versa. This is also something that many movies has dived into.

In fact, one of my favorite movies of the 2000's is the science-fiction thriller, Snowpiercer. It was a creative way to look at corrupted societies and how it unfavorably placed the poor without a way out. It's a movie with a lot of layers and Korean director Boon Joon-Ho knew it was important to make it just as entertaining as it was to explore and read into. It looks like he's made another movie about class, except Parasite is a smaller story about two families, but is still as impactful.

We start with a family of four living in the slums, in a basement under a store; father Kim Ki-Taek (played by Song Kang-ho), mother Chung-sook (played by Jang Hye-jin), son Kim Ki-woo (played by Choi Woo-shik) and daughter Kim Ki-Jeong (played by Park So-dam). They struggle for work enough that they take jobs constructing pizza boxes. When a friend of the son comes to visit, he offers Kim Ki-woo an English tutoring job to a wealthy family's daughter. He accepts and sees a world he only dreamt of; a fancy house built by a famous architect, wide space, a backyard and nice cars.

After some convincing from the family, a scheme is made so that the daughter is hired as an art therapist for the youngest son, the father as a new driver/errand runner, and the mother as the new housekeeper. The family is overjoyed that their con has fooled the other family. This leads into them celebrating when the other family leaves for a camping trip by eating and drinking in the living room. Things go wrong when the previous housekeeper returns to get something.

Though there is a second half to the movie, I can't talk about it without spoiling it. Parasite is one of those movies that spans a lot of genres, and yet keeps it focused enough to make it one of the best movies of 2019. It may sound like a typical dark comedy, but because the character development focuses on all four members of the family, it allowed the story to go in a variety of directions that I didn't expect. At the front, this is still a story on class difference. A lot of these movies will revolve around the theme of "helping the poor". Thankfully, Parasite is a smarter movie and tries something different.

Parasite doesn't try to make the wealthy family out to be villains. But they don't try to paint the main family in a complete positive light either. These are all grey characters that are simply living life and the lengths their going to climb up. This could mean conning themselves into good jobs or getting a party together for a child. If anything, it tries to lean into how stabbing others in the back to get what they want is bad, but even that can depend on a number of factors. This movie is the prime example of "would you steal a loaf of bread to feed a starving family".

Not only is the movie written and directed beautifully, but it's acted amazingly. Though the movie is in Korean, you can tell the actors are still giving it their all as they each understand the complexities of their situation and why each one would make the decisions they make. This also remains one of the better ensemble pieces I've seen this year, hence why I'm not naming them one by one. I noticed this as well in Snowpiercer with how Bong Joon-ho knows how to cast as a whole and work with what he has.

I'll give this ten fancy houses out of ten. It may be in a different language, but this is already one of my favorite movies of the year. This is the kind of movie that can be hard to describe, but my best bet is to simply tell others to see it. I feel like that even talking about it a little could ruin it. Check it out and see just how complicated class difference really is.
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Bong Joon-ho's drama/thriller/comedy is definitely worth seeing
cricketbat31 January 2020
It's hard to nail down what type of movie Parasite is, but this drama/thriller/comedy is definitely worth seeing. Bong Joon-ho tells this story in a way that keeps you engaged and keeps you guessing, with protagonists you can't fully like and antagonists you don't really hate. Even though I may not agree with every decision this film makes, I enjoyed the journey and I'll be thinking about it for a very long time.
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A brilliant piece of art which will slowly grows on you!
sandeepventrapragada9819 August 2019
Well written and performed also technically shines cinematography & bgm are too good and there's not even a single lag it's perfectly edited. Probably the best experience in recent times. Its pure art resembles the modern society the emotions they had shelved are insanely exceptional a layered masterpiece. If you like dark thrillers then you shouldn't miss Mr. Bong joon-ho's Parasite. Definitely tops the list of best movies in 2019.
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The Best Film in Years.
Movie-ManDan14 November 2019
Maybe it's just me, but I have known a decline in film quality since 2017. 2016 was a very good year for film--the last great year altogether. Have I simply seen too many films? In 2016 and earlier, There were a whole bunch of films that I could say "now that is one of the very best films I have ever seen." Since 2017, the most that I could say about I film I love would have been "I love this film. But I don't adore it...One of the best of the year, not ever." Finally near the end of the decade comes a film I can comfortably say is one of the finest motion pictures I have ever laid eyes on.

The movie is Korean so there are subtitles and it does run over two hours. But throughout that duration, time stands still. We are fully immersed in this tale of Shakespearean portions and Hitchcockian brains.

'Parasite' follows two families: the dirt poor Kims and the filthy rich Parks. Being on opposite ends of the social spectrum, many people interpret this as a social satirical film. I can see where they are coming from, but I didn't care about that. Many different themes such as identity are also looked at, but that is all just icing on the cake. Placing them on opposite ends of the spectrum just makes the story and characters another relationships all the more great.

it is sad seeing the Kims in such bad living conditions, so we root for them right away to get out of the slums. Ki-woo is the son who aspires to get out of poverty by attending university. He is approached by one of his university friends who is going overseas to study to take over tutoring Park Da-hye in english. Ki-woo does not know English well, but figures he can fake it and make some money. he may be just a tutor, but it pays well. He finds out that the Parks are looking for a therapist for their son, so Ki-woo gets his sister to assume a new identity and be the boy's therapist. With more money coming and only two more people in the Kim family in need of a good job, it all seems like a sinch to get them in. But getting rid of people in their way and keeping their true identities under wraps from the Parks will be harder than they could fathom.

'Parasite' could be simplified as "family vs family" but there are a couple of more characters other than the regular family members that are all so interesting. Most movies cannot handle developing these many characters. They are smart, sympathetic, even likeable.

The reason I call this film "Hitchcockian" is because of its power to thrill us and take the viewer to places they could never imagine. Even when a movie is unpredictable, the payoffs are plausible and the viewer is able to tie things together easily. But with this, each time a twist comes (which is frequent) the viewer is still left flabbergasted and completely caught off guard. The director really pulls out the rug from underneath.

Watching this movie was such a breath of fresh air and director, Bong Joon-Ho could easily have messed up at any moment. But there is not one second of wasted or subpar material. In fact, it it just the opposite: the movie keeps building and just gets better by the minute. The thrills get stronger and stronger as the twists get smarter and more intricate. With all that happens 'Parasite' becomes an imservie film experience that you will never forget.

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Sleepin_Dragon7 May 2020
Possibly the best film I've seen for some time, yes I have a few lockdown blues, and needed something to cause a bit of escapism, Parasite was the answer. It's one of those films that's almost impossibility to classify, it doesn't really fit into any specific genre, but covers almost all of them.

A great start, it holds your attention incredibly well, I enjoyed the latter stages as much as the first part of the film, I know some didn't. It just moves you into a totally different place.

You'll laugh, and cry, you'll lose yourself in the wonder. Do yourself a favour and order it, 10/10.
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I really can't compare it to any other movie
alansabljakovic-3904424 August 2019
Probably the best movie of this year. I was on the edge of my seat through the whole movie. Acting is so natural and trailer didn't reveal anything to me and I'm grateful for that. This is another Korean masterpiece and it reminds me a little of Oldboy. It is shame that I had to watch it online because they aren't showing it in my cinema.
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Lacks any realistic human dimension
howard.schumann15 October 2019
South Korean director Bong Joon-ho ("Okja") says that he always tries to overturn viewer expectations and hopes that his latest film succeeds in this way. Palme d'Or winner at the 2019 Cannes Film festival, Bong's Parasite (Gisaengchung) does indeed thwart expectations, but the question is - to what end? Defying any strict genre classification, the film is a conglomeration of comedy, drama, satire, crime, horror, and anything else you can throw into the mix. Bong sees the film as a statement about the "ranks and classes" inherent in capitalism that are invisible to the eye, and says that the film "depicts the inevitable cracks that appear when two classes brush up against each other in today's increasingly polarized society." Unfortunately, the characterizations are filled with so many stereotypes that the lack of any realistic human dimension leaves Bong's statement without much impact.

The film looks at class differences between two families - one well-to-do, and the other n'eer do well. For the Kim family, life is a struggle. They live in a cramped bug-infested basement apartment without many amenities except for a toilet built on kind of a shelf. The father Ki-taek (Song Kang-ho, "Snowpiercer") has failed in business and has accumulated many debts. His son and daughter Ki-woo (Choi Woo-sik, "Train to Busan") and Ki-jung (Park So-dam, "Cinderella and Four Knights" TV series) have repeatedly failed college entrance exams. The mother Chung-sook (Hyae-jin Jang, "Adulthood") along with the two children fold boxes for a delivery company, but cannot even get that right. Not to worry, they leave their windows open when the fumigators come around to get some free extermination and steal free Wi-Fi from the next door coffee shop.

On the other hand, the nouveau riche Park family has all the advantages. Mr. Park (Lee Sun-kyun, "Jo Pil-ho: The Dawning Rage") is the CEO of a high-tech company and the family lives in a spacious, modernistic home protected by sturdy concrete walls. He has an attractive somewhat fragile wife Yeon-kyo (Jo Yeo-jeong, "The Target"), a teenage daughter Da-hye (Jung Ji-so, "The Tiger"), and a hyper-active young son Da-song (Jung Hyun-jun). Being wealthy and somewhat elitist in their attitude, for Bong, they are ideally suited to be torn apart by ruthless grifters. With the aid of a friend, Ki-woo is hired to be a private tutor for Da-hye. Of course, he has to forge university documents to convince the trusting Mrs. Park of his competence. With that conquest out of the way, the cunning Ki-woo concocts a scheme to secure jobs in the Park household for his entire family.

Convinced that their young son is a budding Picasso, Mrs. Park hires Ki-jung as an art teacher, then falls for invented stories impugning the character of their driver and housekeeper to provide some more employment opportunities for the Kims, this time for the deadbeat dad Ki-taek and his wife Chung-sook. Bong said that "Sometimes with the characters in my films, I look at them cynically, but most of the time I have a lot of compassion for the characters, even with the villains." This compassion, however, does not seem to extend to the loyal, hardworking household workers, their work scammed out of existence. Without going into detail, the whole escapade backfires in a twist that is over-the-top unsettling even though utterly implausible.

Worthy of a Mack Sennett comedy, a sweet family drama turns into a tumultuous melange of hidden chambers, revenge, bloody violence, a torrential rainstorm, people hiding under beds, and any other mayhem that may come to mind. To be clear, Parasite can be very funny and some of the satire is sharp-edged, yet it is hardly, as one critic described it, "a masterful dissection of social inequality." When asked what he wanted viewers to get out of the film, Bong said, "I just hope that it gives audiences a lot to think about. It is in parts funny, frightening, and sad, and if it makes viewers feel like sharing a drink and talking over all the ideas they had while watching it, I'll wish for nothing more." Enjoy the drink. In a little while, you may have trouble remembering what the film was about.
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Class struggle. After Karl Marx and Victor Hugo, here is Joon-ho Bong
FrenchEddieFelson9 June 2019
This cinematographic gem has been recently rewarded by the prestigious Palme d'Or at the Cannes Festival. If I have one and only one advice to give you: go savor this fabulous movie with a strict minimum of information! Indeed, this film might schematically be split in two parts, the second one being quite surprising and unpredictable. The script is excellent and the casting is globally sumptuous, especially the gorgeous Cho Yeo-jeong for whom I may confess I have a crush.

As a postscript, an anecdote certainly insignificant but literally astonishing when you're French: in the middle of the film, the proletarian family gives itself up to an orgy, the coffee table being covered with manifold dishes including two French cheeses as industrial as cheap: « Le rustique » and « Bresse bleu ». Unbelievable!
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Parasite (2019)
fntstcplnt5 February 2020
Directed by Bong Joon-ho. Starring Song Kang-ho, Choi Woo-shik, Chang Hyae-jin, Park So-dam, Cho Yeo-jeong, Lee Sun-kyun, Lee Jung-eun, Jeong Ji-so, Park Myung-hoon, Jung Hyeon-jun, Park Seo-joon, Park Geun-rok. (R)

Teen-aged Choi, from a lower-class, unemployed family, deceives his way into a position as tutor for the daughter within the prosperous Park family; soon, the rest of his family begins ingratiating (and insinuating) themselves into the Park's lives. To tell more would spoil the pleasures of this deliciously demented parable on class, greed, prejudice and more. As expected from a Bong Joon-ho film, the tone boldly changes at will (mostly between hysterical satire and nerve-wracking thriller), but the transitions are more fluid than ever before for the talented filmmaker--or perhaps it's just because the story and technique is so gripping. Meticulously designed and flawlessly performed by its cast (the first foreign-language group to ever score the ensemble cast award from the Screen Actors Guild), its audacious tangle of ideas and statements packaged with artful, precise elegance. Some of the metaphors come off as shopworn in their exactness, but the film is so otherwise ingeniously constructed that it takes effort to recall in the aftermath exactly how the incidents all piled up. Amusing scriptwriting workshop exercise idea: present the first twenty minutes and last twenty minutes of the movie and see how someone tries to navigate a connection between the endpoints.

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Family Affairs
EdgarST5 December 2019
Winner of the Palme d'Or for Best Film in Cannes 2019, to say «Parasite» is to speak of five shining stars in the cinematic firmament. When you have to spill blood in a film, you have to dose it with genius, hit the target and know where and when to spill it with cunning and, above all, understand well why we spill it and get the viewer to understand that reason as well.

Don't get me wrong «Parasites» is not a bloody drama, but a beautiful film that with humor and gravity touches the three classic themes of art: it is a tragicomedy about love, life and death, it is a film about the joy of living, about survival, about the family of the 21st century, but not like the concept of family defined and defended by many, that sick, stifled definition, confined to religious dogmas and eulogistic of expired and obsolete values. It is about real and living families of the planet in 2019, many dispossessed and a few privileged, in a game of services and currency exchanges, in the last days of capitalism with its agenda of violence, horror and death.

Although director Bong Joon-ho has already made about ten feature films of various themes, I only know one of his films, the cult fable «The Guest», a horrific science fiction tale about the relationships within a poor and dysfunctional family of Seoul, that is put in check when a monster generated by the toxins thrown into the Han River by an American scientist, kidnaps a young member of that family nucleus. Again, in «Parasite», Bong addresses the family issue, opposing a poor family made up of the parents and two children, to a rich family with the same number of members. The moment they cross roads is the basis of the story. A third component, personified by a housekeeper, gives an unexpected twist to the story and leads to the violent climax, which is not the end of the fascinating story; at this point of the story, it still has another 15 minutes of history to tell, until the sad final close-up that ends this work.

When I watch films like "Parasites" my heart skips a beat, I wish that people would have access to a wide and cultured film offer, that we all could see works like this instead of consuming the despicable L.A. garbage that the cinemas offer, week after week, freezing the reasoning of people from the whole world; or having to wait for an exclusive film festival to project them fleetingly, and to be subject to serials of thrones and other lousy dishes. As soon as «Parasite» appears through any of the windows we have today to watch movies, don't miss it.
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Thy shall not ridicule fellas with body odor. Definitely deserves the best picture award.
Fella_shibby4 February 2020
Finally saw this much talked about film. As a fan of Korean thrillers, this film surpassed my expectations. The film is about a poor family who cleverly n cunningly become employed by a wealthy couple, posing as unrelated, highly qualified individuals.

The film begins like a dark satire, it then proceeds into a captivating thriller n ends like a surreal crime.

The film is very entertaining inspite of the sad stuff shown about poor fellas but mind u, it is not at all demeaning. It is very gripping n weirdly hilarious.
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Well....I didn't expect 'that' after the first half. That's for sure!
iquine5 February 2020
(Flash Review)

WOW! I did not see all that coming. The film sets the stage with this severely lower class family who live in a crappy garden apartment who hatch a plan to fake their way into a wealthy family's life to feed off them like parasites. They are doing real services but under a false guise while earning the family's trust. With ample tension and drama there, the film then shifts up a gear with a surprise revelation about the previous housekeeper. Topping that, the film shifts into high gear with a wild grand finale. The story was original, well-written and semi-believable with twists that don't cheat the viewer. Complimented by great cinematography and editing made the film gripping and captivating. This film can be analyzed from several angles and is aptly named so watch, enjoy, ponder.
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Bong's Brilliance
view_and_review22 January 2020
When it comes to foreign films I tend to be a little biased or lenient. They are such a welcome break from traditional Hollywood. When I see a decent foreign film I can't help but want to praise it more because they don't have the multi-billion dollar Hollywood machine behind them. Usually, they have to be more creative, more ingenious, and more resourceful.

"Parasite" is one of very few Korean films I've watched in my life. My foreign film bank consists mostly of Chinese kung-fu movies of which Jackie Chan and Jet Li probably occupy the most space. Korean films are a rarity for me. This suspenseful thriller by Bong Joon-Ho deserves all of the accolades it has received.

What I knew about it going in was that a poor family had moved in on a wealthy family to take advantage of them. That is essentially what happened, but you're not holding anyone's attention with that concept alone. Each character in this film had something to offer and was watchable. As the movie developed and we saw the Kim family sinking its teeth deeper into the Park family, we were treated with wonderful dialogue and a crafty script.

How do you make a movie in which none of the characters are antagonists and none are really protagonists either? Some how "Parasite" did that. The Kim family certainly was shady and underhanded, but they could be viewed as a poor family just trying to get ahead. The Park family was wealthy, yet unlike your average rich movie family, they were not cruel or unbearable people. In fact they were very likeable.

Normally, we want our clear-cut good guys and bad guys. We want our good guys to win and our bad guys to lose. In the cases where all of our guys are good, we want them all to win. In the cases where all our guys are bad, we want them all to lose. In "Parasite" not everyone is distinctly good or bad and there are really no winners.
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