Director: Bong Joon-ho / Certificate: 15 / Running time: 132 mins
After becoming the first ever foreign language film to win the Oscar for Best Picture, Parasite, directed by acclaimed South Korean director Bong Joon-ho, has made history.
To experience the film in the best way would be to avoid reading anything about it, a silly thing to say when writing a review, I know, but the less you know the more enjoyment you’ll get out of it.
However, if you do want to find out a bit more about the movie and what I think – read on.
The film essentially revolves around a poor South Korean family who attempt to manipulate a wealthy family into employing them as unrelated individuals.
To say anymore on the plot really would spoil the fun, but what I will say is that by the end of the film you are still unsure who the title is referring to.
The movie is a masterpiece and this is partly down the perfect performances from the ensemble cast. Parasite deservedly won the SAG Award for best performance by a cast in a motion picture and the performances from Song Kang Ho, Park So Dam and Cho Yeo Jeong were especially impressive.
Not only did Parasite win Best Picture at the Oscars, it also won Best Director (for Bong Joon-ho), Best International Feature Film and Best Original Screenplay.
After winning Best Director, Bong gave praise to his fellow nominees:
“After winning Best International Feature, I thought I was done for the day and was ready to relax. Thank you so much. When I was young and studying cinema, there was a saying that I carved deep into my heart which is ‘the most personal is the most creative’.
“When I was in school, I studied Martin Scorsese’s films. Just to be nominated was a huge honour. I never thought I would win. When people in the US were not familiar with my film, Quentin always put my films on his list. He’s here. Thank you so much.”
Bong mentioning Quentin Tarantino didn’t come as a surprise as Parasite definitely has a Tarantino vibe about it. Some of the humour, the character development and the violence reminded me of a Tarantino movie. It also had a Hitchcock feel to it, and the man himself is featured very briefly in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shot.
Drawing comparisons from these two great directors shows you what you’ll be getting when you watch this film. A variety of genres in one – with comedy, violence and a social study on the classes.
Some people say that they refuse to watch films in the foreign language which I think this is a sad outlook to have on cinema. If you’re worried about watching a film with subtitles or haven’t had previous experience then you really don’t need to worry and are actually missing out. This film is easy to follow and you’ll have no problems understanding what’s going on.
There are thousands of fantastic foreign language films out there to watch and if you enjoy Parasite then you should definitely check out some other South Korean movies. I recommend Bong Joon-ho’s The Host and Park Chan-wok’s Oldboy.
Parasite is in cinemas now. Book tickets to watch it in Canterbury.