Foreign film “Parasite” is a must-see

Jocelyn Sandusky, Reporter

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New and exciting material can be hard to come across in an age where everything seems to have already been done and remakes are all the rage. Bong Joon-ho’s award-winning film “Parasite” is smart, hilarious, thrilling and exciting, and most importantly, original.

The film centers around Kim’s, a family of four living well below the poverty line in South Korea. When an opportunity presents itself to get them out of their financial hole, they concoct a cunning, devious and almost sinister plan to gain employment with a wealthy family.

Watching the Kim family put on a facade as they try to maneuver the world of luxury makes the first half of the film painfully funny. At times the execution and success of their master plan seem a little outlandish and implausible, but the film never turns into a farce.

While the second half of the film is still hysterical, it is also met with anxiety, thrills, violence, desperation, and sadness. It quickly takes a turn and deviates from the predictable first half to a wild and unhinged closing act. Just when it looks like it’s going one way, it completely startles and shocks the audience, especially at the climax of the film.

Although the film is a large spectacle, at its core it is a simple story about class and wealth disparity. The film isn’t pretentious and it doesn’t try to be self-important with an overload of symbolism, metaphors, and imagery. The film delivers its theme and message cleanly and effortlessly.

Everything about the film was near perfect. The direction was clear and intentional. The cinematography was crisp and elevated the mood. The story and script were smart and nuanced. The score was used sporadically and never had to over-compensate for a lackluster script.

Everything came together and meshed beautifully to expose the systematic problem that keeps the poor down and invisible, and prevents them from moving up the social ladder. The film is in agreement that the rich might be good people, but it is their collection of the majority of the wealth that makes them seem greedy and in turn, makes them hated by others.

The film is undoubtedly the best film of the year and most definitely deserved the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival. While the film will probably win the best foreign film at the Academy Awards, it deserves to win for best picture. Foreign films can be intimidating due to their subtitles and can be stereotyped as boring, but “Parasite” is a thrilling, shocking, riveting and captivating work of art that deserves to be seen on the big screen.

5/5

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