Is Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite a masterpiece? Critics and moviegoers alike have been raving about it since its world premiere at Cannes this year. Skeptics only have to look at the data to know the immediate impact of the movie.
Likewise, anyone who’s seen Parasite will know why it bagged the much-coveted Palme d’Or. And while there are still a few movies left for 2019, we’re confident that Parasite has no problems defending its top spot.
Technically Superior Filmmaking
Movies rely on many aspects to work. It’s not all about having a compelling story — that doesn’t make it any different than a book. Similarly, it can’t just look and sound good. They’re not just extra-long music videos.
As a medium, film combines sound and visuals to tell a story. In the case of Parasite, every element is in its top form. The cinematography here is both sleek and meaningful. The movie meticulously frames its characters to depict extremely different socioeconomic classes.
We don’t want to spoil anything in particular. But the third act has some of the best movie moments of the decade — perhaps of all time. It is an aurally, visually intense scene that amplifies the characters’ emotional state. There is nothing quite as personal and devastating like it.
Humorous and Achingly Human
Bong Joon-ho is no stranger to crafting genre-defying movies. From Snowpiercer to The Host, his movies have proven that creativity is boundless. With Parasite, the director once again taps into aspects of many genres to entertain and inform.
The cast members deserve all the praise they’ve been receiving. In particular, the world needs to witness the heartbreaking performance of Song Kang-ho. He plays the role of a father to a poor urban family — and his eyes alone tell a story.
Parasite does have genuinely funny moments from start to finish. Many take the form of black comedy. Thus, there is often a pressing social or political theme lurking behind the clever lines. Bong Joon-ho can make us laugh. But he’ll also make us ponder at the state of socioeconomic inequality in South Korea.
Unraveling Societal Ills
Parasite is the current best film of 2019 because it captures the chaos of the present in a distinct way. It introduces us to a poor yet loving family whose characteristics are all too human. We crave success — but luck and opportunities aren’t always on our side.
Bong Joon-ho’s movie is a show of creativity, desperation, and sheer heart. It presents how the odds are stacked against the underclass. While these people barely have anything to survive, others have their entire lives ahead of them. They have all the fun they want, knowing that their money won’t run out.
The film is cathartic. It builds the tension between social classes and leads to a provocative climax. It’s unforgettable and ridiculous. But it also makes complete sense — the perfect kind of satire. You’ll leave the cinema with the film ingrained in your mind.
Just like 2018’s Burning, Parasite is a masterpiece with a lot to say about modern life in South Korea. And what’s even better is that the rest of the world can learn something from it.