thu 06/08/2020

DVD/Blu-ray: Parasite | reviews, news & interviews

DVD/Blu-ray: Parasite

DVD/Blu-ray: Parasite

Bong Joon-ho's Oscar-winner justifies all its accolades

Will the Kims get to eat their cake?

So what exactly is all the fuss about? For those of us from a cinema-deprived area, it’s been a long wait for the homevideo release of this much vaunted "masterpiece". And the trailer gives away so much, there’s probably little to surprise us, right? Very wrong.

Hauntingly dark, South Korean director Bong Joon-ho's lauded Parasite is neither simply comedy nor drama but something – dare I say? – genre-eschewing. A sinister atmosphere is pervasive throughout the two hours in which we watch plan after plan go wrong for the Kims, a desperate but resourceful Seoul family. It serves to add yet another dimension to this complex and utterly enthralling fable, as twist after twist catches you unawares. What sorcery is this? The acting is so exceptional that the fourth wall virtually disappears – to achieve that with subtitles is nothing short of miraculous. 

The circumstances of the Kim family’s existence are as unimaginable as the wealth and disdain of the well-off Park family's world. From heaven on the hill to hell in the depths of the city, it’s pretty clear you can never escape your roots. Or can you? The Kims are going to give it a good try and have pretty much nothing to lose – except each other.

Parasite The subject of the ever-growing disparity between those who have (way too much) and those who don’t is front of mind right now, and a different take on isolation makes Parasite utterly apposite for our times.

The audacious deceit with which the apparently parasitic family ingratiates itself to its wealthy host is captivating and the jeopardy in which this puts them is thrilling. Can they get away with it? And are the parasites, in fact, the Parks – people who cannot survive without staff?

As the story spirals out of control and further surprises shift the narrative, the suspense builds. To say more really would spoil things. Never heavy-handed nor moralising, Parasite is – as many before have said – unlike anything you’ve seen until now. It’s a romp that gives you no time to pause for breath and leaves you wondering quite how all that held together. It's very much more than the sum of its parts, for sure. And it certainly bears repeating that it's one of those investment discs that you will be delighted to have shelled out for (it comes with deleted scenes, a Q&A with the director, trailers, and a short on the making of the film). 

If this is your first experience of Bong Joon-ho, you will undoubtedly be keen to see the rest of the work on which his reputation as a genius rests – his oeuvre is considerable, from sci-fi (Snowpiercer) and comedy (Barking Dogs Don’t Bite) to crime (Memories of Murder). It’s a rich and disturbing pool to dive into.

@kathrynsreilly

Never heavy-handed nor moralising, 'Parasite' is unlike anything you’ve seen until now

rating

Editor Rating: 
5
Average: 5 (1 vote)

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