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Parasite (2019)

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hype is 100% justified.

I IS the best movie of 2019. If everything is right with the world, Academy will nominat it for more than just best foreign movie.

it had a very limited release here in Chicago this week. I'm waiting till it comes closer to my 'burbs so I can go and see it again. 

piece of advice:  try going into it with as little information about the movie as possible. If you somehow have avoided previews by now, don't even seek them out. just go.

Edited by vavera4ka
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On 10/21/2019 at 3:08 PM, vavera4ka said:

hype is 100% justified.

I IS the best movie of 2019. If everything is right with the world, Academy will nominat it for more than just best foreign movie.

it had a very limited release here in Chicago this week. I'm waiting till it comes closer to my 'burbs so I can go and see it again. 

piece of advice:  try going into it with as little information about the movie as possible. If you somehow have avoided previews by now, don't even seek them out. just go.

Agree totally. Fantastic movie and try to know little before going in.  Must see. 

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3 hours ago, GussieK said:

Agree totally. Fantastic movie and try to know little before going in.  Must see. 

Yes! I had heard a little about it before seeing it, on a podcast - but the hosts said it was the kind of movie that you should go into as blindly as possible, so all I really knew was that it was about a wealthy family and a poor family and how they become intertwined. I'm so glad I went into it pretty blindly. It was a TRIP, and I mean that in the best way.

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5 minutes ago, Empress1 said:

Yes! I had heard a little about it before seeing it, on a podcast - but the hosts said it was the kind of movie that you should go into as blindly as possible, so all I really knew was that it was about a wealthy family and a poor family and how they become intertwined. I'm so glad I went into it pretty blindly. It was a TRIP, and I mean that in the best way.

I knew a similar amount going in, and that's all.  Did not ruin it.  

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Critics' Choice Award nominations:

Best Picture

Best Acting Ensemble

Best Director – Bong Joon Ho

Best Original Screenplay – Bong Joon Ho, Han Jin Won

Best Production Design – Lee Ha Jun

Best Editing – Yang Jinmo

Best Foreign Language Film

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Wow.  That took a turn!  As with all of you, I'm glad I didn't know much of anything about this before seeing it.  I just got back from seeing it, and I'm still mulling it over.  So much going on with the families.  Really well done.

Clearly, I'm still a little speechless about it.  In a good way.

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On 12/17/2019 at 9:58 PM, Browncoat said:

Clearly, I'm still a little speechless about it.  In a good way.

I just got back from seeing it and I feel the same way.  I'm speechless, but in a good way.

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Finally saw this movie last night and goodness gracious, what a masterpiece! The misdirection in this film is extraordinary, and when you think it will zig, it will suddenly zag. The ending was so brilliant. My husband was saying, it cannot possibly end this way, it's too neat. And then it suddenly takes it to a different level. Wow, just wow. This should definitely be in the Best Picture Noms in the Oscars. 

Like most of you said, this film is viewed best when you only know so little about it. Even the trailer didn't give away too much other than poor kid gets to be a tutor at a rich family's house. 

On another note, I watched this movie the night after watching Hustlers (for the second time, my hubby's first). And it was jarring how the main driver of both plots, while entirely set in totally different situations, was greed and how the deeper you are into it, the more dangerous it gets.

 

 

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7 hours ago, slowpoked said:

it was jarring how the main driver of both plots, while entirely set in totally different situations, was greed and how the deeper you are into it, the more dangerous it gets.

I wouldn't say that Parasite is about greed per se; I'd say it's more about the desperation that poverty and income inequality can create.  If it were only about greed then 

Spoiler

the family could have just robbed the employers blind when they went camping and have been done with it.

The father didn't stab the employer because of greed.  He did it because he snapped as a result of the combination of:

1) seeing his daughter stabbed and then having the employer demand that he stop putting pressure on the wound in order to drive the employers to the hospital;

2) being flooded out of his home and a few hours later having to hear the boss' wife talking about what a great thing it was that it rained because now it means they can throw a party instead of camping; and,

3) seeing the employer hold his nose when he rolls the bunker guy over because he can't stand that "poor person" smell.

The father stabbed the employer because the 1% don't see the 99 as actual people. 

 

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On 12/27/2019 at 5:37 PM, Steph J said:

I wouldn't say that Parasite is about greed per se; I'd say it's more about the desperation that poverty and income inequality can create.  If it were only about greed then 

The way I see it about greed is that it was never enough for the Kim's family. Of course, robbing the Park family blind was never an option for them because they don't want just their material possessions, they want to be like them. 

It was never enough that the son got a good paying job as the daughter's tutor. It was never enough that Jessica was able to charge double the usual rate posing as an art therapist to the son. What was it to them that two good working class people - the same socio-economic class as them - lost their jobs for something that wasn't true, just so they could all get into the scam? It was never enough - that's where the greed came from. 

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7 hours ago, slowpoked said:

The way I see it about greed is that it was never enough for the Kim's family. Of course, robbing the Park family blind was never an option for them because they don't want just their material possessions, they want to be like them. 

It was never enough that the son got a good paying job as the daughter's tutor. It was never enough that Jessica was able to charge double the usual rate posing as an art therapist to the son. What was it to them that two good working class people - the same socio-economic class as them - lost their jobs for something that wasn't true, just so they could all get into the scam? It was never enough - that's where the greed came from. 

That's fair, I can see that perspective. 

I guess the reason why I wouldn't call it "greed" is because, to my mind, greed is when you've gotten your fair share and then try to take more even though it will be to the detriment of others.  The Kims definitely screw two people out of their jobs but, at the same time, I don't think it could be said that they ever got their fair share in the first place given their circumstances.  They're four adults living in a cramped apartment below the ground who have to take work folding pizza boxes just to make enough money to still not have enough to eat. I think it's telling that as soon as they had some money coming in the thing that they do to "splurge" is that they get food - it's not even fancy food, it's just the opportunity for the four of them to eat at a buffet, but to them that's a luxury.  It was "never enough" because it was literally still not enough for them to be able to pull themselves out of poverty and into a lifestyle that most people would consider just "adequate."

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Congrats to the cast and crew of the movie! Director Bong's speech was succinct yet so eloquent. 

So apparently, the HFPA has a criteria that in order to be a Best Picture nominee, that the movie has to be spoken in at least 50% in the English language, and that's why Parasite was never in consideration for Best Picture for the GGs.

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BAFTA nominations:

Best Film
Best Film Not In The English Language
Director - Bong Joon-ho
Original Screenplay - Han Jin Won, Bong Joon-Ho

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13 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

BAFTA nominations:

Best Film
Best Film Not In The English Language
Director - Bong Joon-ho
Original Screenplay - Han Jin Won, Bong Joon-Ho

This is awesome and should bode well for the film's chances for a Best Picture nom at the Oscars.

Although I wish its cast was also recognized for individual acting awards. The consensus is that Mr. Kim will get a Best Supporting Actor nom at the Oscars where there is a much bigger nominating body compared to all other precursor awards.

I think the actress playing Mrs. Park also deserves acting recognition. She brought nuance and emotional depth to an otherwise stereotypical role of rich husband's airheaded and vapid wife. Her facial expressions and comedic timing were some of the movie's best parts.

I have rewatched this movie 3 times over the holidays (relatives came over), and it's amazing how I found something new with each new viewing that I never noticed before or just passed off as minute details. Everything in this movie was deliberately thought out. Like 

Spoiler

when Mr. Park told Mr. Kim that the only thing he didn't like about the old housekeeper was that she ate too much, it looked like she was eating for two. I thought that was just an insignificant detail, but it was actually a foreshadowing of an important plot point that will drive the third act.

 

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I saw this today! One of only two movies I've seen this awards season. This... and Cats! I love them both for different reasons.

Unbelievably tense in the middle as the camping trip starts and they luxuriate and you know it's going to come crashing down. How it came down was of course unexpected.

I wonder if this film's focus on class is easier for an American audience to take being a foreign film rather than if it were an American film? Kind of like how you can get away with talking about sensitive issues in sci fi or genre films more than if you made a straightforward movie about it.

I really hope this wins Best Picture though I know it'll be fucking Joker.

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SAG Awards

WINNER: Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

Heck yeah!!! High fives to the Park and Kim families!!

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Oscar nominations:

Motion Picture
Director - Bong Joon Ho
Original Screenplay - Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin-won
International Feature
Production Design - Lee Ha-jun and Cho Won-woo
Film Editing - Yang Jin-mo

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https://www.thewrap.com/bong-joon-ho-parasite-hbo-limited-series/

Quote

“For example when the original housekeeper Mun Gwang (Lee Jung Eun) comes back in the late-night, something happened to her face. Even her husband asked about it but she never answered,” Bong explained. “I know why she had the bruises on her face. I have a story for that and aside from that why does she know the existence of this bunker?”

“What relationship does she have with that architect to know of this bunker? So I have all these hidden stories that I have stored,” he added.

So it looks like the stories will take off from the original movie and its characters. I thought it would be about new characters with similar undertones of the original movie. He imagines it to be a 6-hour long miniseries.

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I'm sorry I won't be watching this limited series because I don't get HBO.

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So glad I went in unspoiled. Gasped a few times, was not expecting it to go where it did at all.

Such a good movie with fantastic acting from everyone.

On a shallow note, the set design of the Park home was beautiful. 

I would be interested in finding out more about the housekeeper, and what happened after she was fired, so the show sounds interesting.

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I had no idea about this movie until the SAG award love and win so decide to try it.

I was unspoiled and half way through I had no idea where this was going, the birthday party probably traumatized that kid for life for his birthdays. I feel bad for the Park children. 

Movie was good and unpredictable ending, didn't expect it to be that end. 

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On 12/27/2019 at 8:37 PM, Steph J said:

I wouldn't say that Parasite is about greed per se; I'd say it's more about the desperation that poverty and income inequality can create.

Yeah, while greed was certainly a theme in the film, I don't feel like it was the overarching theme and instead it was the exploration of class and the battle between the haves and have nots. 

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On 12/27/2019 at 8:37 PM, Steph J said:

I wouldn't say that Parasite is about greed per se; I'd say it's more about the desperation that poverty and income inequality can create.  If it were only about greed then 

  Hide contents

the family could have just robbed the employers blind when they went camping and have been done with it.

The father didn't stab the employer because of greed.  He did it because he snapped as a result of the combination of:

1) seeing his daughter stabbed and then having the employer demand that he stop putting pressure on the wound in order to drive the employers to the hospital;

2) being flooded out of his home and a few hours later having to hear the boss' wife talking about what a great thing it was that it rained because now it means they can throw a party instead of camping; and,

3) seeing the employer hold his nose when he rolls the bunker guy over because he can't stand that "poor person" smell.

The father stabbed the employer because the 1% don't see the 99 as actual people. 

 

What I loved is that they did not make the rich people just be assholes. Sure, they were entitled and sometime ridiculous but they were not defined as just one dimensional jerks.

On 12/30/2019 at 12:17 PM, slowpoked said:

The way I see it about greed is that it was never enough for the Kim's family. Of course, robbing the Park family blind was never an option for them because they don't want just their material possessions, they want to be like them. 

It was never enough that the son got a good paying job as the daughter's tutor. It was never enough that Jessica was able to charge double the usual rate posing as an art therapist to the son. What was it to them that two good working class people - the same socio-economic class as them - lost their jobs for something that wasn't true, just so they could all get into the scam? It was never enough - that's where the greed came from. 

I thought it was interesting how the son and the daughter could effortlessly fit in with the richer people as tutors, while the mother and father definitely both always had a "working" class vibe. I wonder if it is because of the internet that the younger generation is more aware of how to ape mannerism of the upper class? Both the son and daughter seemed educated and knew how to present themselves in a polished manner.

Edited by qtpye
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On 1/25/2020 at 6:34 PM, Artsda said:

the birthday party probably traumatized that kid for life for his birthdays. I feel bad for the Park children. 

Yes, that kid is messed up for life. First, his "nightmare" comes true to life on his birthday. Second, his father was killed on his birthday. Every time they celebrate his birthday, they're also mourning his father's death.

If I have one little, very minor criticism of the movie, is that I would have liked to know what happened to the Park family after the events. We know they moved out of the house, but did they find out they were scammed? Did the young son die too? Did the rich daughter try to contact the poor son? Where did they move? 

I can understand Bong's focus on the poor family at the end, but the rich family was an important part of the story too, I would have liked some closure on them.

6 hours ago, qtpye said:

What I loved is that they did not make the rich people just be assholes. Sure, they were entitled and sometime ridiculous but they were not defined as just one dimensional jerks.

Yes, that's the mastery of Bong at work. He fully fleshes out his characters to be multi-dimensional. Like most viewers have said, you don't really know in the end who the good guys are vs the bad guys. And you may find your loyalties shifting during, and even long after watching the movie. Even the poor family recognized it: "Mrs. Park is a nice person...the young daughter is a nice person..."

You could argue Mr. Park is unlikable, but he is far from villainous. 

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6 hours ago, slowpoked said:

We know they moved out of the house, but did they find out they were scammed?

I think they must have found out since 

Spoiler

the mother and son went on trial - the scam certainly would have come out at that point, if only because their real names would have been revealed

 

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I thought this was every bit as good as it was said to be, really a stunning achievement. It's one of those movies that make me realize how we usually live on crumbs. When you've seen a lot of movies, you're glad to get one that just does one or two things really well. Then, once in a blue moon you get something like this, which does about twelve things well, It blows past refusing to hew to a formula; it doesn't even confine itself to a genre. I really had no idea what was going to happen next most of the time, and I wasn't trying to anticipate some dopey "twist." It all unfolded seamlessly, inevitably.

I have only seen one of the director's prior films, Snowpiercer, and that utterly failed to prepare me for the mastery of this. 

And all this talk about Oscar acting snubs, focusing on mega-celebrities like Jennifer Lopez...there are a half dozen people in this cast who did work on the level of the performances represented in the four acting categories. It was the actors' triumph too. 

On 1/27/2020 at 9:30 AM, qtpye said:

I thought it was interesting how the son and the daughter could effortlessly fit in with the richer people as tutors, while the mother and father definitely both always had a "working" class vibe. I wonder if it is because of the internet that the younger generation is more aware of how to ape mannerism of the upper class? Both the son and daughter seemed educated and knew how to present themselves in a polished manner.

I don't think it's just the internet. That gave them easy access to information on some specific topics, like the daughter with her "art therapy," but they had a greater level of polish and sophistication because that family was of an aspirational type. At the time the film starts, we can already tell they are bright kids who have set out to do better than the previous generation, the way it's supposed to work, but what they have innately has only taken them so far. They've hit a hard ceiling. 

Edited by Simon Boccanegra
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25 minutes ago, Simon Boccanegra said:

I don't think it's just the internet. That gave them easy access to information on some specific topics, like the daughter with her "art therapy," but they had a greater level of polish and sophistication because that family was of an aspirational type. At the time the film starts, we can already tell they are bright kids who have set out to do better than the previous generation, the way it's supposed to work, but they've hit a hard ceiling. 

Earlier during the film, the son and his friend were discussing about how come the son and his sister were not going to school. The friend also mentioned something like high school, GED, military school, etc. So that tells me that both these kids have probably achieved a higher level of education compared to their parents, but fell short of college or finishing it. 

They also referenced the daughter being good at Photoshop. I think it's a combination of being the younger generation who understands technology more easily, and having a little more educational experience compared to their parents that make them look like young professionals rather than "working class" like their parents were/are.

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Also, the son, Ki-Woo, is obviously comfortable enough relating with the well-off Min...but he isn't happy that Min shows up where he lives. He tries to make it sound like this is about Min's convenience ("You didn't have to come all this way. We could have met somewhere else"), but the subtext is that he's embarrassed by the cramped conditions and squalor. We get a number of hints about what that friendship has been like. The parents recognize Min, but the sister has to ask for confirmation that that's who it is. Min later tells Ki-Woo it was "good to see" the Kim parents and that they "look good" -- things you say when you haven't seen someone in a long time. 

Ki-Woo and Ki-Jeong are much better at dealing with the pizza-box boss than their mother is. They're ingratiating and manipulative; she's combative, against her own best interests. 

The movie is deft in those early scenes at telling us a lot of useful things about its characters (even minor ones like Min) without making a big show of it, like bad screenwriting does. 

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On 1/27/2020 at 3:42 PM, slowpoked said:

We know they moved out of the house, but did they find out they were scammed? Did the young son die too? Did the rich daughter try to contact the poor son? Where did they move? 

 

Spoiler

In Ki-Woo's closing narrative, he mentions he and his mother being convicted of fraud and given probation. So I'd say their scamming of the Park family was public knowledge, which mean it's highly unlikely that the Parks didn't know. We also saw him being read his rights when he woke up and couldn't stop laughing.

And as for the young son - are you referring to the one who had the birthday party? Because if so, there was no indication he'd been hurt. It looked like he just fainted from the trauma of everything.

 

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IMO Parasite is a masterpiece.  However, I fully expect the Academy - as it has in the past with masterful foreign films - giving it the Best International Feature film Oscar, saving Best Picture for an English speaking film.  

But as powerful as Parasite was, I have no plans to watch the limited series based on it.  I don't even plan to re-watch the film itself.  Parasite, like White Ribbon a few years back, is one of  those films where revisiting the characters is just too disturbing for me.  

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3 hours ago, truthaboutluv said:

 

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In Ki-Woo's closing narrative, he mentions he and his mother being convicted of fraud and given probation. So I'd say their scamming of the Park family was public knowledge, which mean it's highly unlikely that the Parks didn't know. We also saw him being read his rights when he woke up and couldn't stop laughing.

 

 

True. It's probably also a big news when it initially came out since it rocked a community - news reports were saying police were having a hard time finding a motive.

3 hours ago, truthaboutluv said:
Spoiler

And as for the young son - are you referring to the one who had the birthday party? Because if so, there was no indication he'd been hurt. It looked like he just fainted from the trauma of everything.

 

Yes, I'm referring to the Park son.

Spoiler

Did he just faint, or did he suffer a seizure like his mom said he did when he first saw the "ghost"?

 

Edited by slowpoked

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Finally got a chance to see this tonight on demand. It deserves all the praise it is getting. I love suspense films but it's so rare to find one nowadays that isn't filled with needless gore, poorly created characters & a forced twist that makes no sense or can be figured out after the first 5 minutes. Every time I thought I could see what was coming I was wrong. It wasn't even that it was the opposite of what I was thinking it was that it wasn't even in the realm of what I was expecting. Bongs use of music brings me back to movies like Psycho. It doesn't give anything away it doesn't distract but it succeeds in enhancing the story. I loved the cowboys and Indians symbolism in the movie. This film reminded me of Get Out. Both are smart, suspenseful, well acted and well written. 

 

ETA:

Spoiler

I also appreciated that none of the dogs were harmed/killed. It's a cliche that is overdone and not needed. 

 

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7 hours ago, Dancingjaneway said:

...a forced twist that makes no sense...

"There's a secret bunker the family being scammed somehow doesn't know about & the former housekeeper's husband has been living down there for years but he loves the family & sends Morse Code messages with the lights" doesn't qualify?

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4 hours ago, ICantDoThatDave said:

"There's a secret bunker the family being scammed somehow doesn't know about & the former housekeeper's husband has been living down there for years but he loves the family & sends Morse Code messages with the lights" doesn't qualify?

IMO, I don't think it's a forced twist at all. I think it ties neatly into the movie theme of parasites  and hosts - sometimes the host does not know that a parasite is already living off of them. I think the bunker was well explained, and the husband was already foreshadowed when Mr. Park made a quip that the former housekeeper ate too much, she ate enough for two. I thought that was some fine attention to detail by Bong, I didn't think enough of it when Mr. Park first said it. 

I did think about the automatic sensor lights, and someone pointed out somewhere that it didn't make sense that the light switches are in the bunker. But as mentioned in the movie, the bunker was made in case of a NoKor invasion. And I think those light switches in the bunker were made as emergency mechanism to be able to communicate to the outside world via morse code in case the worst happens. My guess, is when the Park family moved in, the lights "automatically" turned on, and because it did, they didn't bother finding the switches in the main house. 

 

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On 1/28/2020 at 5:38 PM, Simon Boccanegra said:

And all this talk about Oscar acting snubs, focusing on mega-celebrities like Jennifer Lopez...there are a half dozen people in this cast who did work on the level of the performances represented in the four acting categories. It was the actors' triumph too. 

I kind of watched the BAFTA awards, and the director gave two acceptance speeches, both of which mentioned the actors.  During I think the second one, the actors stood up and were recognized, I assume at Bong's request.  So I'm guessing he feels the same way you do.

In related news, there's a black and white version of Parasite floating around:

https://secure.denverfilm.org/tickets/film.aspx?id=31583&FID=106

That site has a statement from Bong:

Quote

“I'm extremely happy to present Parasite in black and white and have it play on the big screen. It will be fascinating to see how the viewing experience changes when an identical film is presented in black and white. I watched the black and white version twice now, and at times the film felt more like a fable and gave me the strange sense that I was watching a story from old times.”

“The second time I watched it, the film felt more realistic and sharp as if I was being cut by a blade. It also further highlighted the actors’ performances and seemed to revolve more around the characters. I had many fleeting impressions of this new version, but I do not wish to define them before it is presented. I hope everyone in the audience can compare their own experiences from the color version and find their own path to Parasite in black and white.”

 

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Hmmm. The black and white film sounds interesting to see, but I'm not sure I would like it personally. Part of the movie's charm was the gorgeous set of the Park home, which came out perfect because of the color blends used. Then there are other subtle details such as the sunlight in the yard, the automatic hallway lights, etc.

Bong Joon Ho and Cho Yeo Jeong (Mrs. Park) were featured in W Magazine:

https://www.wmagazine.com/story/parasite-bong-joon-ho-cho-yeo-jeong/

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31 minutes ago, slowpoked said:

Hmmm. The black and white film sounds interesting to see, but I'm not sure I would like it personally. Part of the movie's charm was the gorgeous set of the Park home, which came out perfect because of the color blends used. Then there are other subtle details such as the sunlight in the yard, the automatic hallway lights, etc.

I typically love black and white films, but have the same reservations you do about this one.  I think the scenes in their own house would be great, judging from the photo on the website, but I do wonder about the fancy house and yard.  

Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be anywhere that it's showing in black and white, because I'd give it a shot anyway.

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I saw this last night (finally) and I have to admit I was disappointed.  I was completely unspoiled and while I thought the first two acts were on the verge of something really special, the final act kind of unravels it.  I'm not saying I called what was going to happen in the ending but it did feel cliched.  I can't help thinking that there's not much difference between that and say the subway scene in Joker.  Now don't get me wrong, I think Parasite is superior than Joker in just about every way, not the least of it is the take on classism, but the final 20 or 30 minutes lets it down.

Also, Mr. Park being disgusted by the smell on the man from the basement was a little much.   It was a little too....on the nose.  Thank you!  Thank you!  I'm here all week. We've all heard stories of adrenaline fueled moms lifting cars off of their children or people escaping attackers with any variety wounds that would otherwise drop them.  In that fight or flight moment, Mr. Park's brain actually chose to process odors?  Again, for a movie that toed the line so nicely up until those moments it kind of went off the rails for me in the end.

Having said that, the woman who played Mrs. Park probably should have been nominated for an Oscar.  I thought she played the well meaning but ignorant and naive yuppie housewife to perfection.

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Yeah, I was a bit underwhelmed by the movie as well. Your thoughts really spelled out possible reasons why. I didn’t think what happened was that surprising.

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I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, and for me it was a rare one that actually lived up to the hype.

It was suspenseful, and I had absolutely no idea where it was going from start to finish. Masterful acting by the entire cast, and the characters were more than one dimensional - no clear-cut villains or heroes.

It also left me with a lot to think about afterward, which movies rarely do these days. It was multi-layered with interesting themes, and certain things that can be re-examined after watching. 

I hope it wins some Oscars!

 

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