Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong
New from South Korean auteur Bong Joon-ho (Memories of Murder, The Host, Snowpiercer) is Parasite, a blackly comic satirical thriller which wowed critics on its premiere at Cannes 2019 and went on to win the Palme d’Or, the first Korean film to do so.
It follows the misfortunes of a downtrodden South Korean family, the Kims, who eke out a hand-to-mouth existence in an inner city basement apartment. They struggle to earn enough to buy even basic food (or Wi-Fi), until the son, Ki-woo (Choi Woo-shik) is presented with an opportunity to teach English to the daughter of the wealthy Park family at their comfortable suburban home. After convincing Mrs Park that in addition, their unruly son needs the help of an art therapist, Ki woo’s sister assumes the role, and slowly the Kims infiltrate every aspect of the Parks’ day to day life. But when an interloper threatens the Kims’ newfound comfort, a battle of class warfare breaks out, and things go first comically, then horribly, wrong.
Full of energy, verve and a transgressive visual wit, Parasite is incredibly watchable. It is also brimming with rage, Bong Joon-ho exposing the inequalities of contemporary capitalism and offering a real focus on the desperation, misery and immorality of poverty. A masterful creation, brilliantly designed, shot and performed, it looks to generate continued critical praise and strong word of mouth on its release.