review by Bobby Blakey
I love strange and interesting films. Directory Bong Joon Ho has delivered some that I really enjoy including The Host, Okja and Snowpiercer that is now getting the TV treatment. His latest, Parasite looks to be yet another great entry into his interesting resume and stars Kang-ho Song, Sun-kyun Lee, Yeo-jung Jo, Woo-sik Joi, and Hyae jin jang. Could this film live up to the hype its getting or should it have stayed in the basement?
Parasite follows the Park Family: the picture of aspirational wealth. And the Kim Family, rich in street smarts but not much else. Be it chance or fate, these two houses are brought together and the Kims sense a golden opportunity. Masterminded by college-aged Ki-woo, the Kim children expediently install themselves as tutor and art therapist, to the Parks. Soon, a symbiotic relationship forms between the two families. The Kims provide “indispensable” luxury services while the Parks obliviously bankroll their entire household. When a parasitic interloper threatens the Kims’ newfound comfort, a savage, underhanded battle for dominance breaks out, threatening to destroy the fragile ecosystem between the Kims and the Parks.
While I had done some stories on the trailer and heard all the hype I avoided most things about this film on purpose. I wanted to go in fresh and just experience it in hopes that it lived up to the hype train its been on and I was not disappointed. In the beginning I wasn’t sure where it was going as we watch the Kim family and their struggle of daily life. This slowly builds toward the obvious bigger story as they come in contact with the Park family by chance and what starts out as a con of sorts turns into something so much more.
The first half of the film is a fun watch as it plays out showcasing all the characters doing their thing to evolve the story into a direction that was
quite unexpected in the best way possible. Things are going fairly normal as they put their plans in motion, but with one sequence the entire film changes focus and becomes nuts. Every character has their part to play in this and it becomes a constant state of chaos and deception as things begin to unravel for everyone. I loved this direction as it kept the film fresh and interesting while never losing the core of what it was about which in a strange way is family.
As disturbing as some of it is it plays up as three stories about people doing what they can to survive in this world to take care of their families. The last act cuts lose and offers up a great sequence that culminates everything to perfection while still offering up a fresh new twist that while not overly surprising is pure genius. Parasite has been racking up the awards and nominations and they are well deserved. Bong Joon Ho has crafted a perfect film that gives viewers everything it needs even if they don’t know it yet.
I have heard that there is a TV series happening to continue this story and I cannot wait to see where its headed if it comes to be. Grab your copy of Parasite on Blu-ray and DVD available now from Universal Home Entertainment.