SOUTH KOREA, 2019
Korean w/ English subtitles
Principal Cast: Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong
A glorious success and smashing box-office hit for Korean auteur Bong Joon-ho – who returns home after his foreign adventures in Snowpiercer and Okja – the Palme d’Or- winning Parasite is a politically charged cinematic wonder.
Described by Bong himself as “a comedy without clowns and a tragedy without villains,” the film moves quickly from one tone to another, mixing pathos and satire with thrills and drama in a perfectly controlled blend of many different genres.
A vertical story of class struggle — punctuated by staircase scenes going from mouldy basements to top floors, from darkness to breezy spaces designed by star architects – Parasite observes and dissects with surgical precision the life of two families of different social backgrounds.
Ki-taek (Song Kang-ho, Snowpiercer) is an unemployed patriarch of a family of grifters – his wife Chung-sook (Chang Hyae-jin), his clever twenty-something daughter Ki-jung (Park So-dam), and his son Ki-woo (Choi Woo-shik) – who live in an overcrowded, sordid basement. The Parks, on the other hand, live in a fabulous house with their teenage daughter Da-hye and pampered son Da-song, who has suffered a childhood trauma that occasionally causes him seizures and strange behaviour. When, due to an unexpected stroke of luck, Ki-woo is hired by the Parks to be the private English tutor of Da-hye, the destinies of the two families cross. Their explosive meeting exposes the merciless evils of class inequalities, culminating in a powerful and utterly original outcome.