Parasite has gotten a lot of attention, but I’m not certain why. It was a good movie, but I don’t think it’s deserving of the accolades it has gotten, and it’s certainly not worthy of a nomination for Best Picture at the Oscars.
What I liked about the movie
I had no trouble keeping up with the subtitles and the action on screen. I know that’s a problem for some movies: we’re busy reading a subtitle and miss something that happens quickly on screen, or miss the actor’s expressions which are necessary for understanding the dialog. None of that was an issue in this movie.
There’s no doubt that Parasite is gripping. The pacing of the movie keeps moving and I was always wondering what would come next.
Every actor did an outstanding job. When that happens one must give credit to the director, Bong Joon Ho, and the writer, also Bong Joon Ho. I can understand why he has an Oscar nomination for Best Director.
What is the movie about?
Very broadly, it’s about class divisions in South Korea — which by extension apply to class divisions around the entire world. This story could have worked just as well in California, Brittain, Japan, etc.
What I don’t like about the movie
I’m not going to go into details, but some might consider the following a spoiler. Continue reading at your own discretion.
Some crazy events unfold, but I don’t get the sense that any of the characters change. Yes, there’s a brief flash-forward sequence that hints at one of the characters changing and coming up with a plan. But based on the character, I have no confidence that the character will follow through.
Otherwise, everyone is pretty much the same from beginning to end. In my book, that’s not how good stories progress. Either one or more individuals need to react to the events in the story to change, or the events can cause relationships to change. But by the end of this movie…nothing.
Additionally, there’s no one to root for. No one is really bad; no one is really good. Every character is trapped in their role and they stay there. Neither is there any understanding made between the upper and lower classes in this movie.
In the end, Parasite is a well-made movie, but one that doesn’t enrich the audience.
Maybe I’m just missing it. If you saw it and saw something enriching, or profound, about it then please let me know in the comments.
About The Peetimes: We normally don’t do Peetimes for movies with subtitles, because it’s difficult to impossible to take Peetime notes and read subtitles at the same time, but for this movie we made an exception. I don’t use any character names in the Peetime synopses, but instead describe the character by their role. I think that will be easier to read and understand for western viewers.
There are no extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of Parasite. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)
Rated (R) for language, some violence and sexual content
Genres: Comedy, Crime, Drama
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