Oscar Winner “Parasite”: The Grass is not always Greener. Only Bloodier.


The darkly comic, Oscar winning South Korean tale of the haves and the have nots “Parasite” is at once laugh-out-loud funny, ludicrous, lamentable and lacerating. Make that last adjective both lyrical and literal.

Acclaimed Writer/Director Bong Joon-ho introduces us to a downtrodden clan of ne’er do-wells and con artists scarcely surviving in the slums of Seoul. Then the son scores what amounts to a potential winning lottery ticket when a friend gives him a gig teaching English to a lonesome lovesick lass. Things begin to break brighter for the busted bunch as, one by one, they each burrow their way insidiously in the employ, and into the ostentatious home and private lives, of a dysfunctional rich family. Gradually the conniving opportunists gain their clueless client’s ear, their trust and ultimately the run of their spacious pad.

Ah, but things have come far too easy for our fortunate foursome and, alas, they have thrust upon them a fork in their yellow brick road. (Refer to previous passage RE: lacerating).

Perhaps the most revealing scene in Joon-ho’s saga comes near the end of his film. The father is driving the wealthy wife as they prepare for her bizarre boy’s backyard birthday bash. She is rattling on to a friend over the phone about how the recent rains have so wonderfully washed away the pollution to fashion a clear day for her special soiree. This is the same deluge that flooded his family out of their sub-ground level flat, forcing them into a giant homeless shelter where they struggle to sleep upon mats laid out across a gym floor. The display of disdain boiling in his eyes and across the full of his face is both fearsome and foreboding.

In the end, “Parasite” poignantly reinforces a couple of time-tested tenets.

One, Be careful what you wish for. Damn careful.

And two, You can’t keep a good man down. You can do this, however, when that man is not-so-good. And then, as starkly illustrated in the final harrowing moments of this troubling, twisted fable, you can push his sorry ass way down.

For good.

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"Parasite" (2019): The Grass is not always Greener. Only Bloodier.
  • Acting - 7.5/10
  • Cinematography - 8.75/10
  • Plot/Screenplay - 8.5/10
  • Setting/Theme - 8.5/10
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"Parasite" (2019): The Grass is not always Greener. Only Bloodier.

Be careful what you wish for. Damn careful.

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About John Smistad

I am a voracious writer of Movie Reviews. Check 'em out at my Blog, "The Quick Flick Critic", @: The Quick Flick Critic Thanks guys! John

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