<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>

Directed by Bong Joon Ho. Starring Song Kang Ho, Lee Sun Kyun, Yeo-Jeong Jo, Choi Woo-sik, Park So Dam, Lee Jung Eun, Chang Hyae Jin

Running time: 2 hours 12 minutes


While it’s exceedingly entertaining, Parasite isn’t my idea of an award-winning film. It’s more the mastery of the director and the actors rather than the twisted and over-the-top plot that has lead to the films success. 

The message that Parasite delivers is about the duality of the way people live in this world. Some are rich, some are poor. The rich aren’t necessarily happy, and the poor aren’t dumb. Are the nice people rich or are they nice because they are rich?

Lots of questions and insights are thrown up in this battle of the classes. The poor South Korean family lead by Kim Ki-taek (Song Kang-ho) and his wife Chung-sook (Chang Hyae-Jin) seem to prefer an easy lifestyle. Their kids Ki-Jeong (Park So-dam) and Ki-woo (Choi Woo-sik) are effortless conmen, something their parents are proud of. One by one, these four deviously replace the house help and caregivers at the Park family mansion to lift their status and take advantage of the easily manipulated rich people.

Neither of the two families warrants much sympathy. The transition is fun to watch and filled with insightful dialogue about how rich people behave towards people less fortunate than them and how the poorer people think and feel and deal with their situations. Humour helps.

After the interval, the movie picks up pace, as their plot starts falling apart and an even more sinister deception is uncovered. Parasite goes from slapstick fun to dark and over-the-top mayhem and violence. It’s unbelievable and a bit contrived for effect but the slick editing and able direction manage to make things engaging. I thought it was probably way too long though and by the end of it you leave the theatre feeling a bit drained and not very joyful or fulfilled.

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