Jobless, penniless, and, above all, hopeless, the unmotivated patriarch, Ki-taek, and his equally unambitious family–his supportive wife, Chung-sook; his cynical twentysomething daughter, Ki-jung, and his college-age son, Ki-woo–occupy themselves by working for peanuts in their squalid basement-level apartment. Then, by sheer luck, a lucrative business proposition will pave the way for an insidiously subtle scheme, as Ki-woo summons up the courage to pose as an English tutor for the teenage daughter of the affluent Park family. Now, the stage seems set for an unceasing winner-take-all class war. How does one get rid of a parasite?
Plot: All unemployed, Ki-taek and his family take peculiar interest in the wealthy and glamorous Parks, as they ingratiate themselves into their lives and get entangled in an unexpected incident.
Director: Boon Joon Ho
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Runtime: 132 min
Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: An urgent, brilliantly layered look at timely social themes, Parasite finds writer-director Bong Joon Ho in near-total command of his craft.
“One of the best films of 2019 and every year going forward.”
When it comes to Blu-ray reviews, I usually break down the plot and then get into my recommendation. Parasite is not a film (if you haven’t seen it) that needs explanation. Why? It’s an experience you need to have spoiler free with no knowledge going in to keep what’s going to happen a secret. Don’t look anything up and don’t read anything about the plot. Beyond the awards this movie is winning and will win, it should also get an award for the trailer — which sells you everything, but gives you nothing at the same time.
What is it nominated for? It’s nominated for a historic six academy awards and it already won a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film — beyond that, the film has racked up over 100 nominations to date!
When it comes to the Blu-ray presentation, this is a top-notch visual release. It’s unfortunate that this film wasn’t given a UHD release because was shot in 6.5k with a 4k digital intermediate. Maybe we will get a UHD in the future with continued success? I can only hope, I think it would be a stunner.
In conclusion —
When I first heard about this film, I have to say that I had little interest — not because of the subtitles, but the fact that I knew the chances of my local theater showing it would be slim to none. I was glad to be wrong, soon after its wide release my theater showcased it in one of its smallest rooms one weekend… What happened? Every show was sold out. I stayed away from spoilers, so I was blessed to watch this movie play out and unfold with no knowledge of anything that may or will go on. I suggest you do the same.
This film refuses to put itself in a box and there is no way to contain it. You will find yourself on the path the characters are on, but then at an instant — you won’t. You will root for certain characters and hate others, but then at an instant — you won’t. You think that you will have a grasp on what’s going on, but then at an instant — you won’t. Nothing makes sense, until everything makes sense.
Parasite hits so many genre’s and tones playing all at once, I can’t even try to place in a space where it belongs — it stands on its own. Without spoiling this film or the experience, Parasite is not only fitting for our times; it’s a deep and rich social satire that takes all of our cultures and lifestyles and sucks in all into this small circle of two families — it’s amazing what Boon Joon Ho was able to accomplish.
Taking everything into account, Parasite gets my recommendation for an immediate day-one purchase, it’s one of the Best Films of 2019 and an experience everyone has to have at least once! Do yourself a favor, grab a copy at your local retailer today on both Blu-ray & DVD. You won’t regret it.
(As a final side note: the only special feature you get on this disc is a Q&A with Director Bong Joon Ho. Don’t expect a huge array of special features on this disc.)
Did you catch Parasite in theater? Were you a fan of this movie? Will you be picking it up to own? Let me know what you think in the comments below.
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