03rd Jun2020

‘Parasite’ Blu-ray Review

by Alex Ginnelly

Stars: Kang-ho Song, Sun-kyun Lee, Yeo-jeong Jo, Woo-sik Choi, So-dam Park, Jeong-eun Lee, Hye-jin Jang, Ji-hye Lee, Ji-so Jung, Myeong-hoon Park, Seo-joon Park, Keun-rok Park | Written and Directed by Bong Joon Ho

Best picture winner at the Oscars, Parasite is yet another force to prove that Bong Joon Ho is one of the best directors of his generation, if not, of any generation. It’s hard to believe just how perfect the film is. In short, there is not a single fault, the editing, cinematography, score, acting, production design and every other aspect is masterfully worked together by a master director. A now Oscar winning best Director. It’s hard to sum up just how masterful this film is, but I’ll give it a go.

I would say if you are yet to see the film the best way to go into the it is not knowing anything at all, I will refrain from spoilers but will go into some plot points. It seems since it took home the Palme d’Or back in May 2019 and then the film picking up the Best Picture award at the Oscars in February of this year, the hype around Bong Joon Ho’s 8th film has been growing and growing – so much that by the time I came to watch it I thought it was nearly impossible for it to deliver.

As with all his films, Bong Joon Ho is becoming known for films that play with every genre. They flow so effortlessly, with joyful, fun moments, to moments of comedy, to moments of intense thrills and shocking revelations. Parasite then is the accumulation of the masterful director’s previous work. Described by many as Hitchockian, however I would describe it more as Shakespearean. It deals with tragedy and comedy in a way that has only ever blended so well as when it’s on stage. Not only does the film have the tragedy and laugh out moments but there are time’s when you get so caught up in the whirlwind of fun in some of the magnificent sequences that you have no idea what’s waiting around the corner or under the stairs.

The film centres on two families, the wealthy Park family and the poor Kim family. The film mainly focuses on the Kim family and how they start to make their way into the lives of the Parks. Bong Joon Ho does an incredible job of showing us the separation of both families, through cinematography, production and in geography. It’s a brilliant showcase of show don’t tell, we learn everything we need to within the framework of the camera, every shot perfectly composed to show us the difference and the line drawn between the two families. Not only is the framing picture perfect but everything in the frame is incredible to behold, with not a single use of wasted space. It’s this camerawork and filmmaking that stands the film head and shoulders above anything else.

The editing by Jingo Yang is another stand out, with one of the very best montages I’ve ever seen. A high stand out for me was the film’s score and soundtrack, which perfectly runs along side the film’s tonal shifts. How it is not being spoken about more is beyond me, it has stayed with me for days after. Another aspect of the film that didn’t get any awards recognition is the cast. Parasite has some of the best performances of the year in so many different roles, it’s the sort of film you watch and then wish the Oscars had a best ensemble cast award, as Parasite would no doubt win.

There are hundreds if not thousands of more words I could write about this incredible achievement of storytelling. So far many have said it better and there are no doubt hundreds of videos and reviews breaking down the film, but the best thing I can say is simply watch Parasite for yourself. If you can’t see what all the hype is about, maybe the art of cinema just isn’t for you.

***** 5/5

Parasite is out now on Digital, DVD and Blu-ray from Curzon Artificial Eye.


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