Parasite (기생충) – Bong Joon-Ho Knows How To Get Under Your Skin

Hey I’m Zero and this is Only Nice Things,
the show that punishes negative opinions with alcohol. Today we’re going to talk about Bong Joon-Ho’s
Parasite. Kim Ki-woo and his family live in poor sub-basement
apartment and get by on doing odd jobs like folding pizza boxes. One day he’s offered a chance to be an English
tutor for a wealthy family’s daughter because his friend decides to go study abroad. Ki-woo is able to con his way into the job
by convincing the simple minded mother, Mrs. Park that he has the credentials and skills
to properly tutor her daughter. Once hired, he notices that there are other
staff members working for the Parks that he could conveniently replace. Will Ki-woo be able to successfully con his
new rich employers into hiring his family and take them out of poverty? Will his mother, father, and sister be able
to pull off the roles of highly sought after help? And finally…will anyone take the time to
fix those flickering lights? While I keep this review relatively spoiler
free, I highly recommend going in to the film as blind as possible. With that said, let’s say some nice things
about the film. Parasite is definitely one of the more unique
stories I’ve seen in recent memory. I love the idea of conning your way into a
better class bracket and the “fake it till you make it” attitude the characters need
to display in order to win over the well off family. Bong Joon-Ho’s script also knows how to
keep you fully engaged by dropping character details early on that become these “lightbulb
over your head” moments later in the story. I loved that Ki-Woo’s sister, Ki-jeong,
helped her brother Photoshop his documents earlier in the film and then later Mrs. Park
reveals she’s looking for an art tutor for their youngest son. This is such a fun clever way to let viewers
see the dominos being set up and feel like they’re in the know before the filmmakers
go and knock over the next piece. Bong Joon-Ho has created some really quirky
characters that you want root for, but also begin to question how long they’ll be able
to keep this up. Song Kang-Ho is always fun to watch as the
lovably, determined father who’s charade you’ll subtly see unravel during the film. Park So-dam’s transformation from the sister
Ki-jeong, into the art therapy teacher Jessica is so mesmerizing to watch it throws out any
doubts that she’ll be able to convince Mrs. Park of her talents. Song Kang-Ho is my favorite South Korean actor
and I love the scene where he has to literally rehearse with a script on how they’re going
to convince the Parks to reconsider their current house keeper. Parasite has some beautiful looking compositions
scattered throughout the slum neighborhood and upscale gated home. Sometimes it was something simple, like making
a character feel crammed into the frame by the pushy family members or constantly drawing
your eye to the basement door. The director joked that the mansion was donated
by a rich cine-file when in actuality, the intricate home was an elaborately created
set piece. They even went as far as to build the apartment
complex and surrounding homes in order to put the entire set in a water tank. By doing this, they were able to pull off
the impressive flood later on in the movie. Fun fact: Bong Joon-Ho said during my screening
that the crew added beauty mud masks to the flood water so it looked like it coming from
the sewers. It was like a free spa day for the actors! One of the things the movie does so well is
that it cleverly lures you in under the guise that it’s a con job, comedy story before
completely ripping the rug from underneath you. While the Kims drunkenly celebrate their successful
ruse of the Park family, you can clearly see something is about to go awry. I guarantee your theories about what’s gonna
happen next are definitely wrong. As I mentioned earlier, the story makes you
feel like you know where it’s all going and then suddenly you’re hit with a crazy
revelation that’ll give double meaning to the film’s title. Well that’s it for the Only Nice Things
portion of this show. If you’re sensitive to negative comments
or criticisms you’ll probably just want to leave now. Otherwise stay tuned for the drinking game. Hey there viewer, did you know you can drink
along with me to this review? A flashing bottle will come on screen anytime
I have Something Negative to say about the film. This… is your cue to drink. Since this is a Korean film, I’ll be drinking
some peach soju today. And don’t worry, I’m not allergic. Cheers! While I loved Park So-dam’s transformation
from the sister Ki-jeong, into the stoic and stern Jessica, they never actually tell us
how she was able to tame Mrs. Park’s uncontrollable son. She spends such a short amount of time with
him and then suddenly he’s miraculously behaved. I really don’t like this lack of explanation. While the overall pacing of the movie is great,
once the plot pivots later in the film I feel like it gets a little thrown
off course. The movie felt like it was naturally coming
to a close when the new story element is introduced but instead of resolving things right there,
the characters flee and you’re left questioning what the hell just happened. Things obviously get resolved in the next
act but there was such a tense buildup and struggle that I really wanted the movie to
wrap it all up immediately in order to keep that momentum of shock and curiosity at a
high. When Song Kang-Ho’s character Kim Ki-taek
has an altercation with the head of the house Mr. Park at the
end of the film, I don’t feel like it’s fully justified. To be clear, the movie sets up many little
moments where Mr. Park speaks of Ki-taek condescendingly but I never felt it was so bad that Song Kang
Ho’s character needed to take it to an extreme. They should have written Mr. Park into a more
unlikeable character, but as it stands, I didn’t think the things he was saying were
so bad that it warranted Ki-teak to go over the edge. Time to tally up the drinking score. As you can see, I’ve had 9 drinks. Despite the negatives, Parasite is such a
unique film and definitely deserves a lot of the praise it’s receiving right now. My only issue with all the positive buzz around
this movie… is are we going to get another unnecessary remake..? Well that’s it for Only Nice Things, thanks
for watching and come drink with me next time.

3 thoughts on “Parasite (기생충) – Bong Joon-Ho Knows How To Get Under Your Skin

  1. You should try to drink something in theme with all your episodes! The soju was a nice touch.

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