I remember when I first saw the trailer for Parasite, my first thought was: what the hell is this actually about? The trailer gives pretty much nothing away, and the only thing that can really be deduced from it is that there is one family that is dirt poor. There’s little clue to why the film is even called “Parasite” for the matter.
Regardless, the cinematography looked intriguing, the brief clips seemed quirky enough to pique curiosity, and naturally I wish to support anything Korean that can ascend to the world’s stage, so I knew that I wanted to see this flick. It didn’t hurt that on the film festival scene, Parasite was cleaning up, even winning the Palme d’Or, which full disclaimer I had no idea what it was, but it’s basically the highest award at Cannes, which is a pretty big deal.
Needless to say, having watched Parasite, I can say that I do feel that the film did live up to all of the hype. It’s one of those films where you enjoy the ride while you’re on it, but then afterward, the mind wanders and analyzes and delves deeper into the story and execution, and the more I think about Parasite, the more I think about how good it really was.
And not just because the fact that me being Korean I’m going to give a Korean film an automatic pass on a pedestal; sure it definitely doesn’t hurt it, but when I break Parasite down into my own criteria of storytelling, cinematography, acting and plot analysis, I think the film as a whole really stood out.
The story is pretty linear, and not really that complicated; without giving too much up, poor family finds a way to entwine their lives with a rich family, and then some complications arise, leading to the culmination of the plot. The acting is good and Song Kang-ho is to me, one of the most recognizable faces in Korean cinema, to where even a novice to Korean media like me can pick him out.
But I think the most ingenious part of the film is the cinematography of it all, which practically tells a story in itself. I’m no one remotely qualified to talk cinematography, but I do know that even through my novice eyes I can be impressed by wide, panning shots that visually explain the story in the difference of class, throughout Korean society.
Overall, Parasite is an outstanding film, that I have a hard time finding many flaws in. Sure, there’s a little misdirection here and there in terms of plot that seemed inadvertent, but that’s nitpicking over trying to find reasons to not declare it a perfect flick. Ultimately, as a whole, I’d rate it substantially higher than most films I’ve seen throughout the year, and considering the buzz and the cleaning up it’s doing in all of the end-of-year awards, there’s definite argument that Parasite could be a contender for Best Picture.
But if the Golden Globes are any indication, Parasite, as well as other stalwart films featuring too many non-whites aren’t getting any Best Picture consideration, because supposedly “best drama or comedy/musical categories must feature at least 50 percent of English dialogue”
Which sounds pretty racist if you ask me.
Thankfully, I’m also reading that Parasite would be eligible for Best Picture from the Oscars, so I guess the Golden Globes are the only award that’s kind of racist.
Anyway, this isn’t meant to be a post about awards are racist, but about how good Parasite is. Seriously, it’s an outstanding film, and I highly recommend it. I hope it does the motherland proud and wins some serious hardware, but when the day is over, they don’t really matter, and it’s still an excellent movie completely on its own.