Starring: Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-shik, Park So-dam, Lee Jung-eun, Chang Hyae-jin
Written By: Bong Joon-ho, Han Jin-won
Directed By: Bong Joon-ho
Studio: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
Buy On Amazon.com
Parasite is a Korean, black comedy/drama that’s funny, insane, awkward to watch at times and gets dark towards the end. I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite film nominated but it’s definitely up there behind 1917.
The movie centers around the Kim family: Father Ki-taek (Song Kang-ho), mother Chung-sook (Jang Hye-jin), daughter Ki-jeong (Park So-dam), and son Ki-woo (Choi Woo-shik). The Kims are a poor family who live in a super small apartment where people are peeing by their window all the time. They will do whatever they can to make ends meet. Ki-woo is given an opportunity from a friend to home-tutor Park Da-hye (Jeong Ji-so) and her family is really wealthy. Ki-woo realizes the potential for the rest of his family to work for the Park family as highly educated, well-off people so one by one they come up with a plan to get them working for the family and exploiting them. Parasite is really a movie about 2 different types of families: poor and rich.
I normally don’t watch movies with subtitles but since Parasite was an Oscar-Nominated film, I decided to give it a go. I’m glad I did because Parasite was funny at times and just completely out there at other times. It was really a quirky kind of movie, but done really, really well. Honestly, before watching, I had no idea of the plot or knowing anything about this movie. Just like with most years, if it’s nominated or word-of-mouth type of movie, I want to check it out. I was kind of confused the first 5 minutes on what this was about but then I realized what kind of movie this was. I would recommend not even watching a trailer and just going in cold like I did.
Director & co-screenwriter Bong Joon-ho is the one behind the movie Snowpiercer starring Chris Evans, which I still haven’t seen but now I definitely want to check it out. I’m not really a fan of subtitle movies but I still prefer that to the movies dubbed. It takes a few minutes for me to get used to it. Even after watching this, I still want to go back to watch Parasite again. I feel like now I know the plot, the outcome and dialogue, I won’t have to pay attention to the subtitles as much and watch the performances. I thought Song Kang-Ho and Choi Woo-shik were the best but Park So-dam and Cho Yeo-jeong were excellent as well. Parasite has these small funny moments or dialogue and at times, I was cringing because it’s like watching people getting caught doing something they shouldn’t be doing. That’s part of the comical part of the movie, when is the scam going to come crashing down.
At some point in the movie, you can sense that something bad was going to happen and things were going to take a dark turn. They do, but the movie is still strong after it happens. There’s usually one really dark comedy kind of movie a year that stands out. Some work out well like The Lobster and then sometimes they don’t like The Death of Stalin. Parasite works because it’s just brilliantly done. You care for both families in a way, and it’s interesting to see their worlds collide. When things take a turn for the worse, I was laughing because the way Bong Joon-ho directed it. If that makes any sense. After the movie ended, I went to my wife: “what the hell did we just watch?” and “when can we watch it again?”
The Parasite Blu-Ray contains 1 featurette and 2 trailers and that’s about it. There’s a digital code of course but there’s only really one thing worth watching and that’s the Fantastic Fest 2019 Q&A with Bong Joon-ho. Some of the answers and questions are done in both Korean and English. Video quality wise, the movie looked excellent on Blu-Ray and there’s only one audio track: Korean. There’s only English subtitles, which you’ll need unless you can speak Korean.
Parasite is a movie I’m surprised I liked but definitely will watch again. In fact, I keep recommending it to friends and family because a lot of people haven’t even heard of it. When I mention subtitles, they get turned off by it but hopefully they will reconsider. The film is brilliantly done, very comical in the dark sense and even offers up some social commentary about the poor & the rich. Don’t overlook this one, watch it when you can!
Parasite – Fantastic Fest 2019 Q&A with Director Bong Joon-ho
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC (27.99 Mbps)
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1
Korean: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
Bottom Line: An excellent Oscar-Nominated movie that everybody should check out!
Running Time: 132 mins