PARASITE (2019) – My rating: 9.7/10

Parasite (Korean: 기생충) is a South Korean dark comedy thriller directed by Bong Joon-ho, who also wrote the film’s story and co-wrote the screenplay with Han Jin-won. The film follows the members of a poor household scheming to become employees of a very wealthy family by posing as qualified, highly skilled individuals. I was so glad when Parasite was re-featured at several theaters. It’s an extraordinary movie that’s definitely worth seeing despite having to read subtitles.

**** SLIGHT SPOILERS BELOW ****

Kim-Ki taek (Song Kang-ho) and Chung-sook (Chang Hyae-jin) are the parents of, Kim Ki-woo (Choi Woo-shik, their son and Kim Ki-jeong (Park So-dam), their daughter, all live in a tiny basement apartment, works low-paying, temporary jobs and are struggling to make ends meet. One day, a friend of Kim Ki-woo, named Min-hyuk (Park Seo-joon, is preparing to study abroad, gifts the Kim family with a scholar’s rock that is supposed to bring them wealth. Min-hyuk suggests that Kim Ki-Woo poses as a university student to take over his job as an English tutor for the wealthy Park family’s teenage daughter, Da-hye (Jeong Ji-so). Once Mrs. Yeon-gyo, (Cho Yeo-jeong), Da-hye and Da-song’s mother, hires Kim Ki-Jeong, the rest of the Kims successfully pose as sophisticated, skilled workers, unrelated and unknown to each other, and integrate themselves into the lives of the very wealthy Park family. Kim Ki-woo begins to teach English to Da-hye, Ki-jeong poses as an art therapist and is hired to teach art to Da-song (Jung Hyeon-jun), the Park’s five-year-old son. Kim-Ki taek is hired as the new family chauffeur, replacing Mr. Park Dong-ik’s, (Lee Sun-kyun) former driver, Yoon (Park Geun-rok) who was fired when Ki-jeong framed him for having sex in the family’s expensive  SUV. Meanwhile, Chung-sook is hired to replace the current housekeeper, Moon-gwang (Lee Jung-eun), after the Kims exploit her allergy to peaches, as a sign of tuberculosis. When the Parks leave on a camping trip, the Kims have complete use of the property and everything in it.

Parasite takes a dramatic turn into a spiral that you may find hard to believe. This con is the con of all cons and how it ends is even more unbelievable. There is nothing else I can say about this Korean black-comedy except, go and see it, despite it being a foreign language film. Parasite gives a whole new angle regarding scams.  Parasite is very well acted among all its many other attributes.  As of 22 January 2020, Parasite has grossed $28.5 million in the United States and Canada, and $120 million in other territories (including $73 million from South Korea), for a worldwide total of $148.4 million. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 99% based on 356 reviews, with an average rating of 9.37/10. The website’s critics consensus reads: “An urgent, brilliantly layered look at timely social themes, Parasite finds writer-director Bong Joon Ho in near-total command of his craft. At the 77th Golden Globe Awards, the film won the award for Best Foreign Language Film. It received four nominations at the 73rd British Academy Film Awards. It also became the first non-English film to win the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. Check It Out!

[PARASITE is Oscar-nominated Best Picture, Best International Feature Film, Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Production Design, and Best Original Screenplay, Totalling 6 Oscar nominations]

 

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