Happy Valentine’s week everyone and welcome to another article in Cinema Perception. As recalled from previous column entries, I review the latest film, mention its pros and cons and my recommendations of the film. In this article, I will be reviewing the four-time Oscar award-winning Korean film, “Parasite.”
Based on its title, is this film going to be about some sickness that threatens humanity? In watching the film, I noticed that there was no sickness spoken about from the main characters. Instead, the essential focus is on two families and their relationship to wealth. Personally, mentioning wealth and its effect on society carries with it a political statement not often mentioned in film.
After seeing “Parasite,” I believe there were more positives than negatives presented in this film. Throughout, I felt the central plot was superb in captivating a moviegoer to watch more. Also, the character’s actions were spot on to how each reacted toward one another. The transformation of Kim Ki-taek was one example where I found myself immersed in his personal conflict. In addition, the film was an all-Korean cast which made this film authentic to its original roots. I personally felt the dark comedy thriller genre was perfectly shown with some amounts of violence, conflict and loads of suspense. There was a moment in the film where I found the mood to be very emotional, and though it was not a tear-jerker, I deeply felt the experience. The last positive was my own film experience in which I was given options to either watch the film in the movie theater or play it on Blu-Ray. I decided to buy the film on Blu-Ray and watched it at home to avoid driving miles away from my house.
As for negatives, there were a few issues that I needed to address in this film. For one, the film did not have frequent action scenes. Though highlighted as a dark comedy thriller, it seemed like the film missed a minor element due to the amount of underlying conflict between the Kim and Park family. The other problem I have witnessed from the film is its time duration. Anyone that does not want to watch over two hours and twelve minutes of English subtitles should probably veer away. However, if anybody got a Blu-Ray DVD of the film, pause it frequently, since there were times where I found myself rewinding to understand what had happened. If there is someone wanting to know if there is an English dub for this film, there is none. Despite this, “Parasite” did not truly disappoint my viewing experience, but rather it provided my taste in knowing what happens to the two Korean families.
From what I had described, “Parasite” seems worthy of its four Oscar awards and I definitely recommend the film.
On the other hand, if I had to separate the Oscars from the actual film, I would have to say that I am “on the fence” about “Parasite” winning Best Picture. In my opinion, I found “1917” a very riveting film and a great competitor to win the award. Awarding “Parasite” Best Picture might have been an unusual decision given that there were a multitude of other pictures that were well-qualified for the award. Regardless, I place this film a four out of five stars for its plot, directing and essential elements, making this film a thrilling experience.
If you are interested in Korean cinema but “Parasite” does not seem appealing to you, I suggest that you watch the war drama “Taegukgi” instead, for its emotional and action appeal. For those that do not like subtitle films, there are always American drama films to tie down the action and suspense.
To anybody that has thoughts or comments about this review, feel free to e-mail me at my WCU email for your deep insight about the film. Until next issue, this is Nicholas Bartelmo signing off from Cinema Perception.
Nicholas Bartelmo is a fifth-year student majoring in history. NB790429@wcupa.edu