Parasite (2020) by Bong Joon-ho

I don’t normally watch or read reviews till after I have written my own thoughts on the film. This is just to avoid copyright infringement or even the subconscious stealing of arguments. It’s always a better challenge to find your own way of expressing a thought than taking one from someone else, even though they might be doing it better. You can always learn from them after the fact. At least that is my logic.

However, with Parasite, I wasn’t sure what it was that I wanted to say. It is no way a bad film, in fact it is easy to talk about bad films. Parasite feels clinical. It’s so perfectly cut, so direct and blunt that nothing stands out. It’s one seamless, fluid narrative, like a perfect driver in a beamer on the autobahn.

That said, while I found the film to be enjoyable with its black comedy leaving me uncomfortably amused, I do feel like the film lacked a certain punch. Perhaps that is what it wished to achieve, this sense that the cycle of violence will continue and that this is just one chapter in an ongoing book. That while the poor family did trick their way out temporarily, the system will inadvertently reset matters so that the rich stay rich and safe while the poor slave away. The hopelessness of this view is perhaps what stands out amidst other narratives that assure the viewer that everyone is just a temporary millionaire.

If this is the point of the film, then I think it is insightful and well-executed. However, on a story level, as far as a cathartic ending goes, it leaves something to be desired.

I did not feel rage, sadness, joy or any such emotion at the end. Rather it was a cool, alright. Which either speaks to my apathy on the matter or was again, the intended effect. If it was the latter then I respect the artistic choice but wish it were different.

Aside from the story, I would remiss if I didn’t note the excellent actors, the marvellous cinematography and production design and the invisible editing that brought it all together. I must say that this is one of the best edited films I have seen.

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