Parasite Review – Parasite is a South Korean black comedy movie released in 2019. The movie explores the significant divide in a society based on the socio-economic background through the two families at extreme ends of financial status.
Director Bong Joon-Ho has attained legendary status and like all his previous movies this one too left me with an awe for the number of layers this simple black comedy had and its reflection on the subject it deals with. Every frame has been thoughtfully constructed to create a visual representation of the core theme of the movie. As Kim’s son always say it is metaphorical.
- The long staircase Kim’s family takes down to reach their house when they return from the house of the Park family.
- A house that doesn’t let visitors walk inside the gate without permission to the sub-basement makeshift house where people pee outside the window without any remorse.
- A family thanking the rains for it has made the city greener to the family that had to spend a night at the gym among hundreds of people as their house got flooded with shit due to the rains.
As the movie begins at the poor man’s dwelling in a sub-basement, with the family discussing the wifi connection which they were connecting to now has a password, you tend to think the family living in the basements are parasites metaphorically. And as they all get placed in various jobs at Park’s house this feeling is more cemented. Here is the genius of Bong Joon Ho where he makes you feel a certain way and leaves you guilty for the thought process as the movie progresses and you are truly confused about who or what the real parasites are. The same treatment I had very much enjoyed in his movies Memories of Murder and Mother.
Song Kang-Ho yet again delivers a stellar performance. He can just transform into any role just like that. The treatment of the script through comedy just falls in his comfort zone and he delivers it with ease. All the characters in the movie are well written and their character arc as the movie progresses is beautifully constructed.
High Points: Brilliant screenplay and narration. The metaphorical construction of the scene that goes well with the theme of the movie. Performance of the actors.
Low Points: Hardly any low points for this movie
Overall Parasite is yet another legendary work by Bong Joon-Ho. It grows on you through powerful visual storytelling and some brilliant screenwriting. If you get a chance to watch this in any film festivals don’t miss it.
Lipstick Under My Burkha Review – Lipstick Under My Burkha is a Hindi Black Comedy released in 2016. The movie revolves around 4 women of various age group living in Bhopal. Each one of them has a dream that appears “Rosy” to them.
First and foremost this is a very bold movie and many of you may not like what you see on the screen. Although deep inside it reflects some of the true facts in an overly dramatic fashion that needs to be done to drive the point home. The movie captures the conservative background the four women live in and how contrasting wild their dreams are. A college-going girl Rehana wants to free herself from her Burkha. She idolizes Miley Cyrus and loves Led Zeppelin. Leela, about to get married wants to become an entrepreneur and start a honeymoon package for couples. Shireen, a mother of three kids living with an insensitive husband is a successful sales women and wants to grow in her career and a 55-year-old lady Usha who had lost her husband very young finds solace in fulfilling her desires by reading a soft porn magazine.
The events build up and the transition between the lives of the lead characters are filled in with the description from the book Usha is reading. Rosy is the lead lady in the book and it talks about her dreams. Rosy is a metaphor for the dreams these women wish for. The rosy picture in the dream is not so rosy in reality. There are very brilliant moments in the screenplay subtle yet powerful that exposes the stereotypical nature of the society. The scene where Usha introduces herself as Buvaji and then realizes she has a name. Another scene where Rehana steals items from the shop to look fashionable.
The problem with the plot is not everyone would be able to relate to every woman. But definitely, they would be able to relate to one aspect of it.
High Points: The plot and the premise is an interesting one, the narration style of using text from the book for the transition has worked well, The lead characters have performed well, in particular, Rathna Pathak’s performance.
Low Points: The story touches some sensitive subjects which many might find hard to digest, Due to the content this is an Adult movie.
Overall Lipstick Under a Burka is a bold movie that paints the picture of various stereotypes women are subjected to. Not all that one dream is as “Rosy” as the reality is.
Worth a Watch
Birdman Review – Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance is a American Black comedy released in 2014. Riggan Thomson is a washed up Hollywood actor who is very famous for his role as a superhero by name Birdman. But he has given up the job of doing the role of a superhero and is giving everything into put up a show at the Broadway. The voice of Birdman constantly criticizes him for the decision he has taken.
The movie is constructed like a single shot for most part of the movie similar to the attempt Hitchcock had made in Rope. This treatment itself makes the movie special as it is not easy to put a continuous tone to such a complex screenplay. The performance of Michael Keaton is perfect and there is equally powerful performance by Edward Norton as a broadway actor who practices Method Acting.
Director Alejandro G. Iñárritu have taken the risk of keeping the climax open ended as according to them that would be the most powerful ending for the script rather than ending this in a logical way. Anything else I write here would be a spoiler. You could watch this and draw your own interpretation. There is a very interesting sequence in the movie where the lead actor is interacting with a famous critic and the dialogues have a very strong take against the stereotypical way a critic looks at creative work and they have nothing to lose.
High Points: Single shot construction for the movie, The Birdman sequence in Times Square, the screenplay and the performance of Michael Keaton and Edward Norton, the dialogues are pretty interesting.
Low Points: Not many low points apart from the fact that there is a risk of the audience not entirely connecting to the plot
Overall Birdman is a brilliant piece of work that would be remembered for a long time and would act as an inspiration for many new wave film makers.
Sathuranga Vettai – is a Tamil black comedy heist movie released in 2014. It is based on a true story about a person who finds easy way to make money by cheating people. He is a by product of the economical imbalance in the society.
The movie is definitely very engaging as the script does not deviate from the main plot of the movie. It is based on the true incidents that had happened in India. The character of the protagonist Natarajan Subramaniam has been built well. The film has the tone of movies like Naan Avan Illai which is again based on fraud. There some dialogues which are very good and apt for the script. Beyond the main character the buildup for other characters seems to be a letdown for the movie. Apart from this the movie will definitely engage you and also remind you of how someone could easily make a fool out of a common man. You would have a feeling of reading a host of Junior Vikatan articles on con.
Overall this one is definitely watchable on TV or DVD and you would enjoy it.
Wait for DVD/TV
Dark Comedy – Also referred to as Black comedy is a genre of movies which deals with very serious subject in a lighthearted manner. Usually the serious subject involves difficult and hopeless situations in life like death, crime, natural disaster, war and so on. It is also used to deal with subjects that are usually considered as taboo and causes discomfort among the audience if told normally. The use of comedy lightens the mood and it becomes a powerful medium to convey the most difficult things across and is thought provoking. Some of the popular movies in the recent times that employed dark comedy and has been successful at the box office are Delhi Belly, Inglourious Basterds, Avan Ivan.