Being stuck at home certainly puts a damper on living a normal life, but at the same time it also has its advantages. Some of those advantage can be spending more time with your family or learning something new like cooking or crafting. For some it could be something as simple as watching a new movie or show. The good thing about being stuck at home is that I have time to catch up on a lot of movies that I’m behind on. Parasite is easily one of the ones that I’ve been most excited to watch ever since I heard of it last year and especially after its big win at the Oscars. I had expectations going in because of how well it has been received, but I still went in blind, only ever having seen one trailer.
This review comes fresh off of my first viewing and I know that I’m going to need to watch it again to get a full grasp of what exactly was going on in the whole movie with subtleties and other smaller aspects, but I wanted to give my first impression to everyone first of course. I guess it’s an interesting movie to study, and I’m not sure if that comes down to the complexity of the film or the fact that it is a foreign film in a culture that I’m not accustomed to.
I say complexity and yet it’s also not complex. There are many moving parts and tones that change from start to finish. The movie takes you on a ride through the eyes of these two different lifestyles from these two very different families, but does so in a way that is so subtle and smooth that you would be forgiven to think that the movie was more complex than it actually is. I found myself not entirely surprised by any of the events that happened in the movie, but still found myself on the edge of my seat and engaged the whole time.
The simple reason why this movie won best picture is because it was masterful in everything it did and it all stems back to Bong Joon-Ho who is the director and writer of the movie. He masterfully takes us through this story that brings in two different lifestyles in a way that makes us understanding of our main characters. I won’t say that I was brought up poor like them, but I know what it’s like to struggle so I was able to relate to what it means to do anything possible to make a living.
The fact that they went so far as to lie about being related to each other just so they could all have an in with this rich family shows the true nature of those who know what it means to do anything they can to survive. I don’t think any of us can blame them for being so willing to lie about everything. When it comes down to it, you do anything you can to help your family and you stick together because they will always be there for you.
I loved though the trickery and the comedy involved with bringing each new member of the family in, but during this first act I also had the suspicion that something else was going on or was going to happen that would change their round of good luck. Hence why I say that the movie is somewhat predictable because you can sense bad things to come, but it’s how the story slowly reveals little by little as we get deeper into the darkness of this story. I won’t get into spoilers or anything, but I will say that what happened wasn’t entirely what I expected.
It all leads into a series of events that continue to connect and build off of each other for the remainder of the movie. This is where the expert storytelling comes in because everything that happens is vital to the rest of the movie and how things play out. Everything is set up or left in a certain place for one reason or another. There’s nothing that happens that isn’t for the sake of a setup later on even if it’s something so simple and throw away that you wouldn’t expect it to come back later on.
Again, the best way to explain it is that everything was so simple and obvious when you go back and think on it, but while watching the movie, you’re somewhat oblivious to a lot of what’s going on because you’re more distracted by where the story is twisting and turning you. It could be that I was just not noticing certain things like others were, but this movie so subtlety weaves a simple yet surprising story that has a level of social commentary that is truly deep, but also doesn’t throw it in your face at the same time.
Parasite to say the least is what I would say an almost perfectly balanced movie in all aspects. I would never say that a movie is absolutely perfect, but this movie is balanced in such a way that I just can’t help but admit that this movie really is a masterclass of filmmaking. I don’t think I’m looking too much into it and I’m not on the whole Oscar hype train that sometimes happens when movies win, but I’m just going with how I perceived the movie from start to finish. There really isn’t anything I didn’t like about the movie other than it made me want to watch it again just so I can pick up on some other things.
I haven’t yet watched all of the nominees from last year, but from what I’ve seen so far, Parasite is very much on another level of filmmaking that feels almost perfect. Not that the movie is the best movie ever because it’s not, but every aspect is done so perfectly and executed with such smooth and sharp direction that it’s incredibly difficult not to understand why this movie won best picture. I cannot recommend it enough!