Two families living in South Korea lead very different lives. There are the Kims, who struggle with their finances and live in a small semi-basement apartment; and the Parks, who are wealthy, neurotic, and live in a lavish modern house. Ki-woo, the son of the former clan, gets the opportunity to pose as an English tutor for the daughter of the Park family. He manages to get his sister Ki-jeong a job in the household too as the Park matriarch, Yeon-kyo, wants her son to see an art therapist. Gradually the Kim father and mother also infiltrate and get employed by the Parks, all the while pretending they're highly qualified and not related to one another. But secrets lurk and threaten to disrupt the harmony between the families…
'Parasite' is a movie one struggles to review as you hesitate to talk too much and spoil the game. Suffice to say it is a visionary and exquisite feature that ticks all the boxes when it comes to excellence in direction, acting, production design, music, editing and more. It is a breath-taking cinematic accomplishment and will have you talking for days.
'Parasite' has been the recipient of huge acclaim, and winner of BAFTAs and a Golden Globes among several other awards. At long last, it has arrived in Ireland and truly it demands to be seen by all. As a social satire, it encourages in-depth analysis, but for your average moviegoer, it’s a highly entertaining black comedy and Hitchcockian thriller. There are so many layers to it to be enjoyed that, cliché though it may sound, there’s genuinely something in it for everyone.
While the cast will be unrecognisable to a western audience, director-writer Bong Joon-ho’s name will be slightly more familiar. His first English language film, 'Snowpiercer', starred Chris Evans, and he directed Netflix movie 'Okja', starring Tilda Swinton and Jake Gyllenhaal. None have translated to as wide an audience as 'Parasite' and that’s in part because it manages to both make a forceful commentary on the state of modern Korea and the wider world as its themes and exploration of family dynamics and class divides are universal.
'Parasite' is quite unlike any other movie you've seen. It’s musing as it is amusing, strangely enveloping and hilarious. This reviewer’s deduction of a half star was merely due to pacing issues at the film’s midpoint. But it’s a movie that should be watched by everyone. Go see what all the fuss is about.
'Parasite' arrives on demand on June 1st on Amazon, iTunes and other on demand platforms.