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.
The Good The Bad The Weird – is a South Korean western style cowboy adventure drama released in 2008. A bounty hunter, a bandit and a thief are after a treasure map in the 1930s Manchuria.
The foremost thing that strikes you in the movie is the ensemble of popular star cast. Director Kim Jee-woon has given a star-studded movie which in every way keeps the audience glued onto their seats throughout. Song Kang-ho in the role of the Weird is outstanding in his performance. Lee Byung-hun and Jung Woo-sung have also done their roles very well. Although the movie is adapted from many western cow boy movies it still has many elements of a Korean movie which makes it unique in its own way. There are two high points in the movie the initial train robbery sequence, what an ecstatic experience it would have been to see the stars in action on a big screen. The other one is the 15 minute long chase and fight sequence on the desert of Manchuria. The stunt choreography is absolutely stunning. The movie does have a very interesting climax. If you are fan of adventure drama this one is a must watch.
Memories of Murder – is a South Korean crime thriller released in 2003. The movie is based on true incidents of serial killing that occurred between 1986 and 1991 in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province in South Korea. In a small city, a woman is raped and murdered. Soon the detectives realize it is just one of the many serial killings that occur. A local detective and a detective from Seoul with conflicting personalities have to team up to track down the killer and stop future murders.
This movie is directed by Bong Joon-ho prior to The Host. If you are fan of crime thrillers and serial killings this would be a must watch for you. The story is so intriguing and plots open up with even more complicated knot as the movie progresses. You might have seen similar plots in many movies in the recent times (I will leave that for your guessing :)) . But still this one is class apart from all those I have seen. As you see in The Host even in this movie there are some strong social takes. Weaving the current state of affairs into a script is brilliance of Bong Joon-ho. The lead actors Song Kang-ho and Kim Sang-kyung have given very engaging performances and the transfer in their personalities as the movie progresses is brilliant.
Overall this movie is one of the best movies made on serial killing. This one is a must watch for all movie buffs.
The Host – is a South Korean science fiction and thriller released in 2006. As a side effect to the release of toxic waste into the Hans River an unknown mutated giant creature originates and starts attacking people. An affected family stands against all odds to fight the creature.
I was not very fascinated by the plot of a creature coming out of a river but still wanted to watch this because of the rave reviews it has got. I ended up liking this movie! For the firsts, it is not another Godzilla type movie. This has a very strong political statement against the US military dumping toxic wastes into the river. The movie has it scary, satirically funny and emotional moments. Apart from the socio-political statement what stand out in the movie are the way the screenplay has been written and the characterization of the people in the family. Everyone character is carefully thought and is a representation of various people in Korean society. There is a scene where in the father describes why his first son is so dumb and blames himself for the upbringing of his son. You would see many such instances which have been crafted in a satirical fashion. The lead characters Song Kang-ho and the girl Go Ah-sung playing his daughter has performed very well. Director Bong Joon-ho should be credited for taking up such a subject and telling a compelling story!
If you do not watch this movie superfluously but pay attention to the details of the scene and the plot you would enjoy it. This one is yet another master piece of South Korean Cinema.