I legitimately had no idea anything about director Bong Joon Ho’s newest film, Parasite. All I knew about it was that it was an international film (I am not even sure if I knew it was a Korean film although I did know it was subtitled) and that a bunch of the online critics that I like and respect claim that it is one of the best movies of the year.
I even did not realize who Bong Joon Ho was. Later on I discovered he was the director of Snowpiercer (which I loved) and Okja (which, not so much).
I have seen some older Korean movies this year, Old Boy and Train to Busan, but those did not give me any idea what I might be seeing. I thought maybe the parasite in the title of the movie might be some kind of plague like the zombies in Train.
So I really did go into this movie with as much of a blank slate as you are going to get in this world of social media and easy accessible online trailers.
I am glad that I knew so little because it was able to let me move along with the story and allow the movie to provide its twists and turns as it is meant to be.
I don’t want to spoil anything so you can have a chance to go in as fresh as I was, but the film features two families of differing classes that intersect with each other in a strange and original way.
The cast is great. All of these actors brought the goods here, creating characters that were appealing despite being people that may not be the grandest example of humanity. You can understand all of them and relate to them which is quite a feat.
The film is shot beautifully and the contrasts between the classes were distinct. The film has many great moments of humor and also has some dramatic darkness. Midway through the second act, the film shifts a little bit to become even darker than it had been up until that point.
It is one of the top international films of the year and should be an Oscar contender. Go in with as little knowledge as I did. It is worth it.