The exhilarating, captivating, exquisite South Korean film, Parasite, directed by Bong Joon-ho, has collected numerous awards, including winning the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, the Blue Dragon Film Award for Best Film, and Best Film at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards; and has received a score of 99% on Rotten Tomatoes. How has this independent foreign language film received such tremendous worldwide success? As far as I’m concerned, it’s because it contains a deep, profound story, with compelling performances from each of the actors, flawless cinematography, and humour that I would consider to be comedic genius, intertwined with unparalleled emotion, with every aspect of the film so deeply entrenched with sentimental power.
The film opens with a scene of an impoverished family of four lousily assembling pizza boxes in their cramped semi-basement home in order to acquire the money they need to make some sort of a decent living. The Kim’s luck quickly takes a turn for the better when a friend of Ki-woo, the son, offers him a job as a tutor for an extremely wealthy family. They then fabricate an elaborate scheme to dupe this wealthy family into eventually hiring all four family members. Initially, it it appears to be innocent and for a reasonable cause; in order to put food on the table and in order to be able to sustain their lives financially. During this portion of the film generally takes very light hearted, and humourous tone. As the film escalates, we begin to see that none of their motivations are innocent, and we can can see that the actions of each person is influenced a recurring theme of greed, and division of class.
There was an incredible measure of detail that was put into the making of this film, with every aspect of it being executed to perfection. In an interview, with The Vanity Fair, Bong Joon-ho expertly dissects a pivotal scene from the film, which consisted of several small yet significant details which packed the film with meaning. This consists of the metaphorical rock which represents the material wealth it brings to the family, and the bus passing that was timed perfectly with a specific line to represent the transition from the normal world, to the world of crime, which further confirms the quality of thought and effort implemented into this film.
In my opinion, this is easily the best film of the year. It’s comedic, it’s dark, and it’s enlightening, delving into many hard hitting and thought provoking themes. There is an impeccable contrast of tone, going from light to dark so seamlessly that you aren’t even conscious it’s happening. It is so eloquently thought out, with every single detail planned out with the most immaculate precision. It is the epitome of cinematic artwork. An absolute masterpiece.