Unless you've been living under a rock, you have probably heard of Parasite- the 2019 South Korean black comedy-thriller movie taking the world by storm.
The movie is visionary for more than one reason: For starters, it is the first South-Korean movie to be recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the Best Picture category. It is also an edge-of-your-seat theatrical experience that is bound to make your heart jump to your chest.
But amidst the litany of stellar movies to have come out in 2019, is Parasite really deserving of such distinction? We seem to think so! And if you are wondering what makes Parasite such a worthwhile movie-going experience.
With the Oscars upon us, we look at the six-Oscar-Award-nominee, including Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Director- Parasite.
The movie is centered around the destitute Kim family: the patriarch, Ki-taek; the matriarch Chung-sook; and their adult offsprings; son Ki-woo; and daughter Ki-jeong.
Often the victim of their own indolence, they reside in the dregs of their mediocrity when an opportunity arises for the Kim family to scam the affluent and unsuspecting Park family: Mr. and Mrs. Park and their daughter, Da-hye.
The ambitious Ki-woo impersonates Da-hye's English tutor and gets in the Park family's good graces. He soon brings in his family to join in the scam.
The Kim family then integrates themselves into the lives of the Parks and unwittingly becomes embroiled in a sinister plot.
The plot comes to life on the screen, and twists and turns make Parasite a one-of-a-kind theatre experience.
While the screenplay is the unquestioned hero of the movie, the cast of Parasite gave it their A-game to bring the words to life on the screens.
Song Kang-ho plays Kim Ki-taek, the Kim family patriarch.
Chang Hyae-jin plays Chung-sook, the matriarch of the Kim family.
Choi Woo-shik plays Kim Ki-woo, the ambitious son of the Kim family, who starts the ball rolling on the elaborate scheme that is the crux of the story by impersonating the English tutor of the Park family daughter.
Park So-dam plays Kim Ki-jeong, the daughter of the Kim family, who joins in the scheme by pretending to be the professional art therapist, Jessica.
Lee Sun-kyun plays Park Dong-ik, the Park family patriarch.
Cho Yeo-jeong plays Yeon-gyo, the mother of the Park family.
Jeong Ji-so plays Park Da-hye, the teenage daughter of the Park family who gets scammed into inviting the "parasite" into her home.
Parasite has highly touted by movie critics and moviegoers, alike; some have even gone as far as to say that it is the best South-Korean movie of all time. While that distinction is possibly up for debate, there is no denying that it is one of the best movies of 2019.
On IMDb, the movie currently holds an 8.6/10, based on 186,950 user reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, Parasite has a 99% critics approval rating based on 375 user reviews and a 93% audience approval rating based on 4,615 user reviews, as of February 2020.
On Metacritic, the movie holds a score of 96 out of 100 tallied from 48 critics reviews, signifying "universal acclaim."
Hau Chu, writing for The Washington Post, said of the movie:
"In his latest, Bong Joon-Ho blends a con man story with a tale of suspense, to uproarious and enlightening effect."
In his review, David Edelstein, of Vulture said:
"What keeps you rapt in Parasite is the visual wit — every shot distills the movie’s themes — and the richness of the characters and performances."
Joe Morgenstern, of the Wall Street Journal, called the movie "a masterpiece of serial surprises."
Additionally, the movie has appeared near the top- if not at the top- of numerous critics' and publications' year-end best movies list. Parasite ranks as the #1 movie of 2019 on Vox, IndieWire, RogerEbert.com, The Guardian, IGN, The A.V. Club, Entertainment Weekly, Collider, and Huffington Post, to name a few.
The accolades just keep piling up for Parasite. Besides grossing $163.3 million at the box-office, the movie has swept some major awards at award ceremonies.
The pinnacle of movie distinction, the Academy Awards, has recognized Parasite by nominating it in six categories, namely: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best International Feature Film, Best Production Design, and Best Film Editing. It became the first South Korean movie to be recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
It was also the recipient of the highest distinction in the Cannes Film Festival, the Palme d'Or, by unanimous vote. It also won the Best Foreign Language Film award at the 77th Golden Globes after being nominated in three categories.
The director, Bong Joon-ho, was especially celebrated for his vision and film-making style. He won the Best Original Screenplay and the Best Film Not in the English Language at the British Academy Film Awards. Joon-ho also took home the Best Director award at the Critics' Choice Movie Awards, the movie being nominated in seven categories.
The ensemble cast is also the first foreign-language film to receive the Screen Actors Guild Award in the Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture category.
Aside from award ceremonies, the movie has also been awarded by independent critic societies such as the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, National Society of Film Critics, and New York Film Critics Circle.
Parasite is Bong Joon-ho's pièce de résistance, and a cinematic triumph for all of South Korea. The movie transitions seamlessly between satirical comedy and thriller and provide social commentary on the social and economic class of South Korea.
Joon-ho- who is also credited with writing the story, and co-writing the screenplay- has taken the relatively cut-and-dry plot and made it so audiences cannot take their eyes off the screen. Mixing elements of humor, thriller, and relevant social satire, the movie is a triumph in visual story-telling.
The twists and turns in the movie make audiences undecided on whether to clutch their seats or jump out of them. This is one movie you shouldn't miss!