Based on the way you perceive the Earth, Bong Joon-ho’s grand validation from the West can be valued as a long-overdue acknowledgment of his powerful filmography, or it may be dismissed as still another indication of the Oscars’ irrelevance in identifying authentic legends.
Shall I allow the pomp and pageantry of the Academy Awards convince me that my admiration for Bong has somehow been insufficient for these decades, or if I just ignore the attention he is getting all of a sudden, confident that America is only late to the party?
Director Bong, as he is affectionately (and reverentially) addressed with his cast and crew, has made four bonafide classics in his livelihood; every one of them of another genre. His 2003 monster film, The Host, was regarded as an admonishment of American Idol; at Okja, he skewered the food sector like a hot tikka; and in Snowpiercer, his best movie, Director Bong confronted the idea of God.
But unlike his contemporaries, Park Chan-wook or Kim Ki-Duk, Bong has mostly operated in genre theatre, bringing his immediately recognizable idiosyncrasies — shocking tonal changes, razor-sharp satire, and superbly dark humor — to areas which other directors would normally tackle with solemnity.
The genre-fluid Parasite resembles a best hits record — trendy, clinical, and incisive.
The subject of capitalism is once more referred to as Bong pits the wealthy Park living contrary to the inferior Kim clan, peppering the movie with references to Native Americans and construction towards an operatic crescendo where course warfare takes on the kind of a literal conflict. After tackling climate change in Snowpiercer, Bong once more highlights the significance of the emergency, by shedding light on how it impacts the wealthy and the poor otherwise. While the Park household is just slightly inconvenienced with a torrential downpour, the Kims’ whole existence is jeopardized when the same downpour flooding their underground home.
Mere hours before, his home has been underwater; Yeon-gyro’s apathy towards Ki-takes predicament is more insulting to him when she scrunches her nose up in his bad person odor’.
The scene occurs in a vehicle, which reminded me of an identical moment at Zoya Akhtar’s Gully Boy, where Ranveer Singh’s Murad is reminded of this metaphorical space between himself and the wealthy woman he is driving, despite their physical proximity to one another.
The two clans rely upon another; whereas the Parks would not have the ability to work with no imperceptible services supplied by the Kims, the Kims are determined by the Parks’ cash to live. There are no heroes or villains in the movie; everybody’s a parasite.
Bong depends upon his craft to generate confrontational statements regarding course — his use of staircases as a visual metaphor for social liberty is remarkable. This is the regularity with which he cuts into a personality climbing or descending stairs, that Parasite starts to resemble a type of cinematic Ludo. The Parks’ magnificent bungalow is obtained after a continuous uphill climb, although the Kims reside beneath the wealthy and the strong; bereft of not just prosperity and opportunities, but also sun.
The Parks’ house, beautifully assembled by Bong’s production designer, Lee Ha-jun, has many internal staircases, possibly suggesting that within particular socio-economic groups, asserting the standing is an equally excruciating company. The movie is shot like a thriller, despite his average tonal alterations, Bong alternately conjures activity sequences from mundane domesticity, also transforms verbal buys into intricate emotional con-games. For a single scene, between a kitchen table and near-silence, Bong appears to have exhumed the corpse of both Alfred Hitchcock and emptied it of each ounce of inspiration.
In Parasite, Bong does not seem to be expressing sympathy for the poor, for example, say, Alfonso Cuaron failed in Roma. Nor does he appear to be pointing fingers at the wealthy. He is, rather, questioning the nature of humankind; its self-centered ingratitude and its propensity to make branches and also to resort to violence.
I’ve seen Parasite twice. But a dozen repeat viewings are insufficient to unravel its several (hidden) layers. It is the best picture of 2019, by much — an almost spiritual adventure, worthy of a pilgrimage into the theatre.