Jobless, penniless, and, above all, hopeless, the unmotivated patriarch, Ki-taek, and his equally unambitious family–his supportive wife, Chung-sook; his cynical twenty-something daughter, Ki-jung, and his college-age son, Ki-woo–occupy themselves by working for peanuts in their squalid basement-level apartment. Then, by sheer luck, a lucrative business proposition will pave the way for an insidiously subtle scheme, as Ki-woo summons up the courage to pose as an English tutor for the teenage daughter of the affluent Park family. Now, the stage seems set for an unceasing winner-take-all class war. How does one get rid of a parasite?
Director: Bong Joon Ho
Cast: Kang-ho Song, Sun-kyun Lee, Yeo-jeong Jo
Review: Bong has made several films about class, but Parasite may be his most daring examination of the structural inequity that has come to define the world. It is a tonal juggling act that first feels like a satire—a comedy of manners that bounces a group of lovable con artists off a very wealthy family of awkward eccentrics. And then Bong takes a hard right turn that asks us what we’re watching and sends us hurtling to bloodshed. Can the poor really just step into the world of the rich? The second half of Parasite is one of the most daring things I’ve seen in years narratively. The film constantly threatens to come apart—to take one convoluted turn too many in ways that sink the project—but Bong holds it all together, and the result is breathtaking.
Verdict: Super Worth the Popcorn