FILM REVIEW - Parasite
So I have this little theory. Whenever I hear about films that have done really well on the awards circuit, I personally feel that they can be classified into two categories. The first are those that are made technically well and have excellent acting, and although they’re completely worthy of the award they’ve won, they’re often not the most enjoyable to watch. On the other hand, is the rarer category where not only are these films excellently made, but they are phenomenal watches. So when I head about this Korean film, ‘Parasite’, and the buzz around it, a part of me wondered if it was from that latter category.
‘Parasite’ starts with us being introduced to the Kim Family. Made up of Kim Ki-Taek (known as Mr Kim), Kim Ki-Woo (known as Kevin), Kim Ki-Jung (known as Jessica) and Chung-sook. The Kim family are evidently quite poor and live in one of the poorer areas of the city and are struggling to make ends meet. However, one day a friend of Kim Ki-Woo comes round to offer him a job of tutoring a girl he knows from a rich family. Kim Ki-Woo agrees and after one lesson, he’s accepted by the family, affectionately being nicknamed Kevin. Upon seeing that his tutee’s little brother needs tutoring he pretends that he can recommend an excellent teacher, who just so happens to be his sister, going by the name of Jessica. Soon after they are able to cleverly integrate their father and mother into the household by framing the previous employees and without informing their employers that they are all related. Things seem to be looking up for the Kim family, however, one night, the usurped housekeeper turns up to reveal a horrifying mystery. Things rapidly progress from there and it soon appears that things will never be the same again in the house.
Now given that this was a foreign film, I was unaware of all the actors. However, this isn’t going to stop me from critiquing the performances. Each of the actors who play the members of the Kim family was very good in their roles, however, the standout performance for me, was by Song Kang-Ho who plays Mr Kim. Whilst on the surface he seems like a very nice man, there are ripples throughout the film of an underlying personality. The Park family, who are the rich family employing the Kim Family also were excellent in portraying an almost aloof nature in their perception of these employees. One character, who I can’t mention without just blowing your minds, is also terrifying but not in a traditional way. That’s all I can say.
When I was sitting down to watch this, I was told by my sister that she, my mother and my father had all enjoyed this film. Though this may seem like a random comment, I can assure you that it is not commonplace in my household, so I was already quite intrigued. I can say after watching this film that there is no way in which you can guess the plot of the film without watching it. There are so many layers to it and I think some of the ideas which are touched upon are extremely poignant, such as the vast class divide between the rich and the poor in South Korean society. Now although set in Korea, it’s quite easy to see how those parallels could be drawn to any society across the world. The desperation of the poor and the ignorance of the rich are constantly driving the way that this planet works, and this film shows how easy that balance can be shifted.
Although music does play a part in the film and it’s intricacies, it’s used more to build tension and change the mood in different scenes, rather than act as an overarching soundtrack. The cinematography was also very good and the way that the Park family’s house was used in different light settings adds to the ever-changing mood of this film. Overall, I can tell you hands down that the twists and turns that this film gives you are something that you will not see coming. If you’re a fan of films like ‘The Sixth Sense’ and ‘Shutter Island’ then you need to watch this film. Bravo Bong Joon Ho