Starring: Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-shik, Park So-dam, Chang Hyae-jin, Jeong Ji-so, Jung Hyeon-jun, Lee Jung-eun, Park Myung-hoon
Review: Meet the Park Family: the picture of aspirational wealth. And the Kim Family, rich in street smarts but not much else. Be it chance or fate, these two houses are brought together and the Kims sense a golden opportunity. Masterminded by college-aged Ki-woo (Choi Woo-shik), the Kim children expediently install themselves as tutor and art therapist to the Parks. Soon, a symbiotic relationship forms between the two families. The Kims provide "indispensable" luxury services while the Parks obliviously bankroll their entire household.
Parasite has gotten an abundance of buzz heading into 2020 Oscars season, and please believe me when I tell you that ALL of it is deserved. Yes, it's a South Korean film, but it has done what many international films fail to do, and that's garner a Best Picture nomination from the Academy. Parasite is a roller-coaster ride of a film with an incredible story that is so much more than meets the eye. The tone of this film slowly increases from silly and lighthearted to absolutely bonkers with each act. I appreciate movies like this one that run you through a wide range of emotions and experiences. This film offers a commentary on modern day social hierarchies with wonderful acting and a great script that features both comedic, and gut-wrenching unsettling elements. Simply put, this film grips you from start to finish and will have you on the edge of your seat as the tension builds from a slow burn to a full-blown catastrophic explosion. Everything about this film is done with a purpose, and despite it's 2 hour and 12 minute runtime, there is very little fluff. Song Kang-ho is brilliant as the patriarch of the Kim family, who despite his best efforts, can never forget where he comes from. Despite that, he is equally ingenious in his efforts to find sustainability for his family, as he is proud of the children that he's had a hand in raising. By the end of this film, you may be asking yourself, in the case of the Kims and the Parks, who is really the parasite?
Please don't allow yourself to be deterred by the international, subtitle aspect of this film. It's definitely one of the best films of 2019, but beyond that, this film may also be one of the best films of the last decade!
Fun Fact: According to editor Jinmo Yang, he edited the film in Final Cut Pro 7 - an editing program that Apple stopped supporting in 2011, on a computer that hasn't had a software update since 2014. He received an Oscar nomination for his work.