History will of course remember from this golden webbed feature that it is the first to come from Korea. Just like the fact that by winning four Oscar (best international film, best screenplay, best director and best film), its director, the brilliant Bong Joon-ho equalized a record hitherto held by Walt Disney!
But beyond these recognitions cinephiles, it must be recognized that it is almost impossible not to be seduced by this devil of film which refuses to let itself be classified as much as it advances on known paths.
And why is Bong Joon-ho’s film so popular everywhere it goes? Because he refuses to choose and invites us to an irresistible cinephile buffet.
It is characteristic of the films of Bong Joon-ho (Memories of Murder, The Host, Okja…): Always stand on one leg and dare the craziest bifurcations, without ever losing track. This time, this movement in the narrative, as in the aesthetic, takes as a starting point a tone of comedy, starting with a poor family whose father in particular is a powerful comic spring. But the rich family, as a counterpoint to it and in which the poor son will manage to get hired, is not seen with less humor, even caricature.
Yes, we laugh in front Parasite, but yellow, or even black.
Because the film is also eyeing the side of Ken Loach’s films by depicting a Korean social situation where injustices and inequalities reign, just as much as on the side ofA family matter, by Hirokazu Kore-eda, where resourcefulness and tricks in the system become so many ways of surviving, observed with warmth.
A poor family, a rich family, jealousy and scams: of course, the thriller does not take long to show the tip of its nose. But Bong Joon-ho also shows his love for Claude Chabrol’s cinema by visibly enjoying depicting the stale and suffocating backstage of bourgeois life, much less smooth than the luxurious decor lets one imagine. Even more: from the first minutes, we guess. The members of the first family will necessarily rub shoulders with the members of the second.
And on this marked path, Parasite then dares all the surprises, all the twists and turns, all the twists and turns to better catch us in the nets of an unpredictable, tonic and thrilling suspense. Yes, thrilling, because Parasite has more than one trick up its sleeve.
Even when the unimaginable happens, he dares to turn on himself the better to reinvent himself and imagine a new, particularly brutal and striking bifurcation.
The coolest thing about it? If he pulls 1001 strings, makes 1001 winks, if he mixes genres with breathtaking mastery, Parasite remains in reality perfectly unclassifiable. Brilliant and tragic, wacky and social, family and class, it is yet another brilliant work on the perfect illusion of freedom. The one that everyone is looking for, but that neither the condition of class nor fortunes can really buy.
The trailer (source: YouTube):
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Parasite: the brilliant surprise box