I saw Parasite over the weekend and I was not impressed with it. I’m not sure why it won Best Picture and even the message it conveys seems confused. It’s disappointing that this is from Bong Joon-ho, the director the much superior film Snowpiercer.
What was surprising is that the poor family we are supposed to sympathize with, the Kim family, are the least sympathetic characters in the movie. Why is it that this family of intelligent and clever people can’t get a job other than folding pizza boxes? The movie doesn’t even attempt to ask that.
This con artist family decides to screw over a bunch of unfortunate employees for a rich family and we’re supposed to sympathize with them? It really annoyed the hell out of me that the second they got the house to themselves, they were beginning to turn the house into a shithole.
As the end of the film, we learn the son is going to “work hard” despite his newfound infamy and buy the mansion. Why didn’t he do that in the first place? Him and the rest of his family have all these super skills. Why are they in this position to begin with?
The funny part is, the rich family, the Park family, is more sympathetic than the poor family. Are they dumb and naïve? Yes. Are they a little elitist and forgetful, sure? But they don’t deserve what happens to them in this movie and certainly don’t deserve what the Kims do to them. Their original household staff deserved it even less.
I will give the film credit though for making the poor family the unsympathetic ones. That’s how you know this isn’t an American film. In an American film, there would have been no doubt that the rich family were villains. They’d be evil, super elitist, racist, 1% ,MAGA lovers. It’s very easy to see how an American version of Parasite would have gone.
But subverting expectations doesn’t automatically make for a great film and Parasite is proof of that. It’s certainly interesting and different in parts and the twist in the middle is a good one. But it’s nothing special as a movie. It’s too long and for a “dark comedy” doesn’t have much humor. Also, is this film supposed to take place in the future or be a post-apocalyptic world?
I’ve seen 6 of the movies nominated for Best Picture. 1917, The Irishman, Marriage Story and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood are ALL better films than Parasite. Parasite is better than Joker but that’s not saying much. Hollywood likes a message movie but what exactly is the message of this film? That the poor can suck just as much as the rich? That certainly isn’t a Hollywood message that they usually reward.
Parasite is another Best Picture Award winner that will quickly become forgotten like so many other previous winners.