Going into 2019, there were a number of movies that many pegged as award worthy, but I guarantee none would have suggested Parasite. That fact alone is what has made 2019 so surprising. From Booksmart, Crawl, Parasite, Lighthouse, Shazam, and Rocketman, to name a few, but all have far surpassed expectations. Despite that lengthy list, Parasite stands on its own. Consider this, few movies are widely praised yet that is what director Joon-ho Bong has accomplished. Parasite has a 95 out of 100 on Metacritic, 99 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, and an 8.6 out of 10 on IMDb.
Looking at the movie though and it deserves all the praise it has received. The trouble is, unless you see the movie there is no real way to describe it. The genre, which is what we use to categorize movies, is a moving target and thus there is no one size fits all answer. Moreover, the movie has one of the strangest plots and story lines I have ever seen in a movie.
Diving deeper into the movie and the idea of it was very clever. The idea was made possible by a tremendous job from the cast as a whole. Every character had a place and an obvious role in advancing the plot allowing the audience to stay engaged throughout.
The movie is based around one family who, to break it down to one sentence, tries to make a living by working for a wealthy family. The trick is the poor family gets their hypothetical foot in the door with their son, Kim Ki-woo, starting to tutor the wealthy family’s daughter. After that he recommends his sister, and soon after the father and mother are working there as well. Of course, they only have jobs because of them taking down the help already in place.
The real treat for the audience though comes at the end as the last chunk of the movie is an absolute mind bender. The best part of that though, is that the movie makes sense. There are no loose strings to pull. There are no issues with character portrayals. The ending is a masterpiece with the whole movie likely leading your brain to one outcome, but getting another.
One small issue I had with the movie is it stalled for a small period (about 15 minutes) in the middle, but the other parts were so good that when I walked out I had forgotten that small part until thinking about the movie later as I calculated my score.
Another small issue I had was how gullible the mother was, repeatedly taking the word of complete strangers who seem to be chalk full of top-notch workers to fill positions at their home. I found her character at times hard to believe, but overall her tone and development were vital to the story, which to me eases the problems I had with the character.
Criteria - 97%
Again this whole explanation may sound convoluted, confusing, or disengaging, but it is absolutely worth it. After all as an independent movie, it requires the help of people to go see it or we risk not getting more of them. For all the people who desire something different, not the same old thing, or sequel/reboot over and over, this is your chance. The movie is well worth your time.