Newest Reviews
Love in the Afternoon
Black Water: Abyss
Wild Blue Yonder, The
All Hail the Popcorn King
Muriel, or the Time of Return
Great Locomotive Chase, The
American Anthem
Lion and the Horse, The
War of the Wizards
Doctor Faustus
Spite Marriage
Mask, The
Letter to Jane
Quick Millions
Dream Demon
Max Havelaar
Glastonbury Fayre
All Dogs Go to Heaven
Shoot Out
Da 5 Bloods
Kung Fu Monster
Secret Agent Super Dragon
Saint Frances
Boiling Point
Golden Stallion, The
Dragon Force
Anthropocene: The Human Epoch
Luck of Ginger Coffey, The
Junkers Come Here
White, White Day, A
Strong Medicine
Bitter Springs
Centipede Horror
Newest Articles
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
  Parasite All Mad Cons
Year: 2019
Director: Bong Joon-ho
Stars: Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Jo Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-sik, Park So-dam, Lee Jeong-eun, Jang Hye-jin, Park Myeong-hoon, Jung Jee-so, Jung Hyun-jun, Park Keon-rok, Jeung Esuh, Jo Jae-Myeong, Jung Ik-han, Baek Kim Gyu, Park Seo-joon
Genre: Comedy, Drama, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 1 vote)
Review: The Kim family live in this South Korean city at more or less the bottom of the heap and are forced to scrape by with menial jobs they feel are beneath them, though needs must. There does not seem to be a way out, as every avenue they try to explore to better themselves is closed down, and even folding pizza boxes doesn't bring them much in the way of financial recompense, despite it being insultingly simple work. So when the son of the family, Ki-woo (Choi Woo-sik) meets an old pal who managed to attend university as he wanted to, and an opportunity to make some easy cash as an English tutor to a rich family on the other side of town arises, he jumps at it - and gets an idea.

Parasite was the movie that took the cinema world by storm in 2019, winning the Palme d'or at Cannes and the Best Picture award at The Oscars, among other accolades, becoming the first South Korean film to truly be a must-see event for far more audiences than would usually attend a picture from that part of the planet. Fans of that nation's output had been aware there were some excellent entertainments produced there, perhaps the jewel of the East Asian crown in that respect, certainly since Hong Kong relinquished that status and Japan was starting to stagnate somewhat, but the aficionados were largely drawn to the violent thrillers and action flicks churned out there.

Oddly, director and co-writer Bong Joon-ho was no art film proponent, not really, as he preferred to work in genre pictures to put his own thought-provoking spin on them, with varied but distinctive results. Parasite was undoubtedly his major success, but he had been a name buffs watched out for ever since he began, or just about, which could have meant a jaded reaction to this little item given he was going over his old themes, this time in a Hitchcockian milieu, but in fact the opposite was true: those who had been aware of his output were delighted at this mainstream recognition, probably because such recognition had the caveat that many remained turned off by subtitles.

Not everyone understood Korean, but what the majority of those did understand was the film's concept of a class war, where things were not quite as black and white as that premise indicated. The rich family are not out and out villains, while the poor family got up to some pretty nasty activity as their already desperate lives are crushed under the screws of the injustice of the modern society that places profit above simple human dignity. Once Ki-woo secures his new job as tutor, he and the rest of his family discern a method of getting them all hired by the Park clan, involving subterfuge that makes them seem indispensable and better than the people they replaced. But one element they cannot hide: the smell of that dingy apartment that is their home. Basically, they stink of being poor.

This is even commented on by the Parks, who nevertheless do not put two and two together and make the five that they are being scammed. This could have been a simple, straightforward comedy of manners, and in other hands it might have been, but although there were moments of humour, it was of the darkest variety as the situation spirals out of control for just about every character. The phrase "This is why we can't have nice things" sprang to mind as it unfolded on its not-so-merry way to a social apocalypse, as so many films in the twenty-first century did. If not everyone can have nice things, then nobody can, was the implication here, since no matter how much the better off can enjoy their lives, whatever level of income they are on, there will always be present the reminder there is someone - a lot of someones - worse off than you, and their suffering is humanity's suffering. It was a generous view, but not one it supplied any solutions for, leaving you with the impression you had not seen a comedy, nor a thriller, but a horror where the Morlocks were the victims. Music by Jung Jaeil.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 10920 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
  Hannah Prosser


Last Updated: